Florida considers banning all forms of distracted driving

Hands-free use of phones would still be OK

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida could outlaw drivers from putting on makeup, using smartphones, reading or other activities that distract them on the road.

The Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee unanimously approved a distracted driving bill Wednesday after hearing stories from people who have lost relatives in car crashes.

Right now, it is illegal to text and drive in Florida, but drivers can only be ticketed if they are pulled over for another reason.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Wilton Simpson, would make distracted driving a primary offense, meaning law enforcement wouldn't need another reason to ticket a driver.

If enacted, Florida would ease into the law by creating a three-month period where law enforcement would only give warnings. After Dec. 1, they would be able to issue tickets.

Hands-free use of cellphones would be allowed.


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