Florida lawmaker files bill to require drivers to put down phones

Bill filed for 2020 legislative session

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The same Florida lawmaker who championed the state's new law that prohibits texting while driving is now behind a new effort that would force Florida motorists to put their phones down completely.

Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, filed a bill Monday that would outlaw driving while “manually holding or otherwise touching a wireless communications device," according to the News Service of Florida.

The proposal was filed a day before the hands-free part of Florida's new texting and driving law, which makes it illegal for drivers to hold a phone in school and construction zones, goes into effect. Texting while driving became illegal on July 1.

Florida Highway Patrol officials said that between July 1 and Sept. 17, troopers issued 438 warnings while law enforcement agencies across the state have given out 542 citations.

Slosberg filed HB 249 for the 2020 legislative session, which begins Jan. 14.