Florida’s new texting and driving ban awaits approval

Heydi Ortiz, News Editor

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Though texting and driving is technically illegal in the state of Florida, there hasn’t been a law put in place to allow police officers to enforce it. For years, we’ve heard countless stories of car crashes that happened as a result of texting and driving and now the Florida legislature is taking measures to help prevent more accidents.

The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that in 2018 there were 3,655 car crashes involving electronic communication devices.

Now, a bill that would allow police officers to stop drivers who appear to be texting while on the road is heading to Gov. Ron Desantis for approval. If approved, the bill will be effective starting July 1 of this year.

Florida will be among the other 43 states joining the effort to stop texting and driving.

Texting and driving is a secondary offense under Florida’s current law, but under the new bill drivers who use their cell phones while on the road will be committing a primary offense.

According to WLRN, starting in February 2020 the bill will also require law enforcement officers to collect data on offenders and to report on statewide and county totals to Gov. DeSantis, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Chief Frank Mackesy says once the law is signed and takes effect UNFPD will begin enforcing the law around campus.

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