Texting Heads for House Floor


For these kids from the Drivers Ed class of the Florida Virtual School, it was democracy in action.

The students came to the Capitol to support a ban on texting while driving, as they watched Sponsor Greg Holder told the House committee, that taking your eyes off the road for five seconds was more dangerous than drinking.

"We're talking about an activity that is equivalent to drinking four beers very quickly and getting behind the wheel of a car," said Holder.

The bill passed with just one no vote...the chairman's.

"I think it's important that if we're going to push laws forward that we push laws forward that actually enforceable," said Rep. Jimmy Patronis.

The legislation is a secondary offense with a 30 dollar fine that means police can’t stop you for just texting.

Florida is just one of the five states that doesn't have some sort of ban on texting while driving.

St. Petersburg's Police Chief says officers will do their best to enforce the law.

"If you cross the lane or hit a curb or do something like that then that gives an officer enough reason to stop them. I've seen them texting I think it can be enforced," said Charles Harmon.

Afterwards, the kids tested their driving skill on a simulator.

Jenny Ruben crashed every time she checked her phone.

"As simple as not texting at the wheel can save your life and it can really save you from any debilitating injury,” said Ruben.

Under the bill, being involved in an accident while texting will result in tougher penalties. The sponsors say above all else the legislation will allow parents to tell their kids it is illegal to text and drive.


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