After five years of trying, Florida is now the 40th state with a texting ban.
“I’m excited we’ve finally gotten to the point to where the final signature is going on the texting ban,” said Rep. Holder.
Lawmakers anticipate the new texting ban will prevent accidents. As a secondary offense, police must see another violation to stop a driver
“I think it would have been much better if it was a primary offense, allowing police officers to actually actively look for texting while driving,” said Michael Blain.
Even though it’s new here, four states have similar laws. One of them, Virginia, is changing its texting and driving from a secondary to a primary offense in July.
Lawmakers here in Florida say this new law will still keep people safer than before.
“There are eleven teenagers that die every day in United States from texting while driving. Twenty-five percent of all accidents are now attributed to texting while driving,” said Holder.
Starting October 1st it will be illegal to get behind the wheel of a car and text and drive. That’s after Governor Rick Scott signed that bill into law Tuesday afternoon.
A University of Wisconsin study shows in the months following a texting and driving ban, the number of accidents go down. But, after a few months, the study shows drivers go back to old habits.
“It’s a good step in the right direction, it’s the first step. I don’t think its Panacea; I don’t think its going to correct all of the problems.”
Opponents argued the law isn’t needed because it’s already illegal to drive carelessly. Distracted drivers caused more than 4,000 accidents last year.