Texting and driving bill postponed until next week

Bill would make texting while driving a primary offense

By Cathleigh Winningham - Producer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State lawmakers will have to wait until next week to hear more on Florida's texting while driving law.

Florida state senators delayed the vote on Senate Bill 144 on Tuesday.

Read more on Senate Bill 144 here

The legislation would make texting and driving a primary offense for anyone under the age of 18.
Senate Bill 144 is one of three bills introduced this session.

News 6 anchor Matt Austin was in Tallahassee on Tuesday and spoke to Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran.

Austin asked Corcoran about his thoughts on the opinion by law enforcement about Florida's texting and driving laws.

"You've talked about facts and statistics and there are some statistics out there that are staggering about the number of people in accidents with distracted driving. But do you respect the opinion of law enforcement?"

Austin asked.

"Is that really a question?" Corcoran replied.

"Yeah, it is a real question. Do you respect the opinion of law enforcement?"Austin asked.
"Why wouldn't I?" Corcoran said.

"Well, because law enforcement officers think that our texting and driving laws are not only weak right now, but they're actually dangerous for the..." Austin continued.

"I've talked to a lot of law enforcement officers. I've talked to a lot of people involved in the looking at all the laws on the books as it relates to going back to the red-light cameras," Cocoran said.

"But not red-light cameras, specifically the texting and driving..." Austin said.
"It's the same argument,"Corcoran said.

"No, it's a totally different argument," Austin said.

"No, no, let me finish. What we were told is that our intersections would be safer if we had this mechanism in place. What we found out after looking at the facts and evidence is that our intersections are less safe," Corcoran said.

"Can you tell me the name of a police officer who has said 'I think our texting and driving laws are great the way the aren't," Austin said.

"Yeah, I could tell you a lot of police officers. But I don't think that's the issue. The issue is making determinations based on what is actual facts and actual evidence."Corcoran said.

For more information on Driving Change, click here

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