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On October 1, 2013, the “Florida Ban on Texting while Driving Law” became effective. The details of the law are contained in Florida Statute 316.305.
This “so called” ban has been nothing more than a feel good law for the legislature. This law has proven to be completely worthless and maybe even harmful in some ways. As a secondary offense, this law has no teeth and gives law enforcement no ability to pull over someone texting unless they find another offense like a tail light out.
Over the last 8 months since this “Ban” became effective, I have seen people texting while driving with their knees. It is almost like in the past when you saw someone driving too slow or drifting out of their lane, or sitting at a stop light after the light turns green, or running a red light. You used to think these people were drunk, now it is almost always someone texting. I have followed people who I swore must have eyes on the top of their head because their heads faced down as they drove down the highway.
Texting while driving is out of control as we are seeing more and more accidents happen as a result of someone distracted by texting.
In the most recent legislative session that just ended last week, Senate Bill 322 was introduced to revise the current law and make it a primary offense. The bill never made it out of the transportation committee.
Although creating laws to address this growing problem is a challenge, it must be treated with priority in the years to come in order to make our roadways safer.