Here’s why it’s difficult to enforce Florida’s texting-while-driving law
In 2019, the texting-and-driving law went into effect, allowing law enforcement officers to issue tickets to people caught texting while driving. By law, drivers don’t have to surrender their phones without a warrant, making it difficult to prove someone was texting while driving. AdHere’s what Central Florida municipalities reported to the state for 2020 texting-while-driving tickets:Orange County Sheriff’s Office: 114Flagler County Sheriff’s Office: 64Volusia County Sheriff’s Office: 18Sumter County Sheriff’s Office: 9Lake County Sheriff’s Office: 6Brevard County Sheriff’s Office: 4Marion County Sheriff’s Office: 4Orlando Police Department: 12Melbourne Police Department: 12Daytona Beach Police Department: 3University of Central Florida Police Department: 2While the numbers are low, Montiero said it’s a good start in making the roads safer for drivers. Drivers caught texting while driving can face a fine ranging from $30 for the first violation to more than $100. As part of the law, holding a phone while driving is illegal in school zones and construction zones.
Driving Change: Florida’s texting-while-driving law rarely enforced
That roadside encounter, in November, was the exception rather than the rule when it comes to enforcing a new Florida law against texting and driving. AdBut the new law against texting is rarely enforced, according to official state figures. The report also contained at least one major error – discovered after the fact by a news reporter – that overcounted texting tickets by hundreds. AdIn Miami-Dade County, with an estimated 2 million drivers, police wrote 295 texting tickets, or about six each week. Those provisions make the texting law difficult to enforce, said Kinsey, the Alachua County sheriff’s sergeant.
Driving Change: Lawmakers could make Florida ‘hands-free’ statewide
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Could Florida soon be completely “hands-free” when it comes to drivers and their cellphones? House Bill 91, also called the Dori Slosberg Hands-free Driving Law, is named after Slosberg’s sister, who was killed in a car crash in 1996. [TRENDING: How to get vaccine in Florida | Will vaccine work on new strains? Another Florida law prohibits drivers from even handling a wireless device when they’re in a “designated school crossing, school zone or active work zone area.” Slosberg’s new bill would expand that to include driving at any time. Currently, there are 25 states that prohibit drivers from using phones while driving.
News 6′s ‘Driving Change’ initiative leads to national community service award
By now, you’ve probably seen some of our “Driving Change” reports. Hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation, the Service to America Awards recognize outstanding community service by local broadcasters. That initiated a campaign WKMG calls Driving Change, a relentless multi-faceted, multi-year campaign led by Matt Austin and WKMG-TV/ClickOrlando.com to strengthen Florida’s texting and driving law. I am very proud that my station allowed us to do just that.”Here’s more on the community service effort, “Driving Change: Florida’s Texting and Driving Law,” which was the force behind the win. Last year, WKMG TV was honored with this award for their work to change Florida law to allow first responders suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to get the benefits they deserved.
Nearly 4,000 texting while driving citations issued in Florida since law went into effect
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida law enforcement officers have issued nearly 4,000 citations since the state’s texting and driving law went into effect. Florida Highway Patrol shared data on the number of citations issued through June 22, revealing 3,842 drivers have been stopped for distracted driving. The agency’s data reveals that a majority of citations were issued by local police departments. He said, while they haven’t given out a lot of citations, they have pulled over a large number of drivers caught texting. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law May 2019, adding Florida to the majority of states who consider texting while driving a primary offense.
Operation Vision Zero increases traffic enforcement to cut down on fatalities
Thirteen law enforcement agencies across Central Florida launched Operation Vision Zero Thursday in an effort to end pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. In the first few hours of the initiative, Orlando police pulled over dozens of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists for traffic violations. Through high visibility enforcement and public awareness, law enforcement agencies hope to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities on the roads. It is a collaborative effort to enforce traffic laws for pedestrians, drivers, and bike riders,” Orlando Deputy Chief James Young said. There are dozens of other Vision Zero Zones throughout Central Florida that will be monitored through the end of March.
Orange County deputies enforce Florida’s hands-free law
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Drivers along Forest City Road learned an expensive lesson early Thursday as deputies enforced the hands-free portion of Florida's texting and driving law. For Thursday's operation, the Orange County Sheriff's Office focused on a school zone near Lake Weston Elementary. “It’s simple, but yet people have been so used to using their phones while they’re driving,” Master Deputy Michael Johnson said. “You’re taking someone else’s life in your hands because you’re looking at a device.”This morning, our Motors Unit conducted a "Hands-Free" law detail at a school zone and a construction zone (w/workers present). Here are the results: - 71 traffic stops- 50 citations for "hands-free" law- 26 citations for other violations pic.twitter.com/cOtDoSjdSb — Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) February 20, 2020Drivers who were pulled over, like Lisa Andreoni, were written a $164 ticket.
State, Seminole law enforcement educate drivers about Florida’s new texting-and-driving law
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Law enforcement teamed up with transportation and school leaders on Wednesday to spread the word about the effects of Florida’s new texting and driving law. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol pulled over several vehicles near Woodlands Elementary in an effort to remind drivers to focus their attention on the road. “Keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel and focus on the task at hand,” Chief Dan Purcell said. "The goal here is to get people to not touch their mobile device while they're in a car," Purcell said. After Wednesday’s enforcement exercise, officials said they will continue to monitor the area and may perform a similar exercise if needed.
Orange County deputies issue dozens of hands-free citations in school, construction zones
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County deputies conducted a “hands-free” enforcement operation Thursday, checking to see if drivers are following Florida’s new law that prohibits motorists from handling their phones in school and construction zones. Deputies posted up on John Young Parkway between Princeton Street and Shader Road between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and issued 22 citations to drivers using their phones in school zones. In October, the hands-free portion of the law went into effect and drivers could be pulled over for using their devices in school and construction zones. Beginning Jan. 1, drivers can be ticketed for handling their cellphones in school and construction zones, along with texting and driving. It’s OK to text if a vehicle is stopped at a red light and motorists can use a GPS device while driving.
Florida drivers can now get ticketed for using phones in school, construction zones
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – As people headed back to work after the new year, construction was also underway on I-4, meaning any drivers on their phone in the active construction zones could get a ticket. Starting Jan. 1, drivers can now be ticketed for simply holding their phones in a school or active construction zones. On Oct. 1, the second part of the law, making it illegal to handle a phone in school or construction zones, went into effect. However, since it was a new law drivers needed to get used to, there was a grace period -- until now. I know about the school zones but I didn’t know about the construction zones,” Marilene Auge said.
Avoid distracted driving (and a ticket) with these smartphone apps
Now that Florida’s law enforcement officers will be ticketing drivers for texting and driving it might be a good time to download a smartphone app so you can put the phone down and focus on the road. Florida’s new distracted driving law began July 1, but motorists were given a six-month period during which warnings were issued for people spotted texting while driving. On Jan. 1, law enforcement officers will begin issuing tickets if drivers are handling their phones in hands-free zones, including school and construction areas. To help you avoid a costly ticket and drive safely we’ve compiled a list of 12 smartphone apps that can help you achieve that goal. Read on below for information about apps to help you avoid distracted driving.
‘Enforcement time’ is here for Florida’s texting and driving law
“Enforcement time” has come for motorists caught texting and driving by Florida Highway Patrol troopers. Starting Wednesday, the highway patrol will join other law-enforcement agencies in issuing tickets, instead of warnings, to motorists stopped for texting while driving. But the new law (HB 107) made it a “primary” offense, allowing police to pull over motorists for texting behind the wheel. --- A new law (HB 831) requires health care practitioners to transmit prescriptions electronically, with certain exceptions. --- A new law (HB 427), establishes the Honor and Remember Flag, which will honor members of the military who have died in the line of duty.
Sex dolls, hazing among new Florida laws now in effect
News 6 launched a Driving Change campaign that helped lead to a texting and driving law in Florida, making it a primary offense for drivers to type on their phones. Other new laws involve hazing, sex dolls and police dogs. The hazing law targets anyone who plan acts of hazing or solicits others to engage in hazing. Another new law makes it a first-degree misdemeanor to sell, give away or show child-like sex dolls. Lawmakers said the importation of sex dolls that resemble children has become increasingly prevalent.
Using your phone in school, construction zones is now illegal
ORLANDO, Fla. – Better keep your hands off that cellphone if you are driving near a school or in a construction zone in Florida. As of Tuesday, it is against the law to hold a cellphone while driving through a school or construction zone. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said law enforcement agencies across the state won't start issuing tickets until Jan. 1. “We don’t want to see a child hit or killed because somebody was on their phone,” Montes said. [MORE: What you can, can't do with your phone while driving | These Smartphone Apps are helping combat distracted driving]Watch News 6 for more coverage.
Florida lawmaker files bill to require drivers to put down phones
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.
Hands-free part of Florida's texting & driving law starts Oct. 1
ORLANDO, Fla. – The hands-free part of Florida's new texting and driving law goes into effect in a few days, which makes it illegal for drivers to hold a phone in school and construction zones. "We're talking about children, and in a school zone, they're getting off the school bus, they're darting in and out of traffic, they're really not paying attention. For people to be on their cellphones in a school zone increases the danger that there is going to be a fatality," Thompson said. Troopers said they will start giving warnings when the hands-free portion of the new law going into effect. Thompson said this is a great start to toughening Florida's texting and driving laws, but she still wants to drive change.
Here's how many Florida drivers have been ticketed for texting and driving
ORLANDO, Fla. – Recently released numbers show that hundreds of drivers across the Sunshine State have been ticketed or warned since Florida's new texting and driving law went into effect. Florida Highway Patrol troopers began issuing warnings on July 1, when texting while driving officially became illegal in Florida. Representatives with Florida Highway Patrol delivered their report Wednesday to members of the Florida House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. [READ: Florida texting and driving statistics]"I think it's low, principally because it's new," Florida Representative Geraldine Thompson said. News 6 was a major force behind helping to get the new law banning texting and driving enacted with an initiative called Driving Change.
News 6 rides with trooper warning drivers about new texting and driving law
The new texting while driving law went into effect on Monday. Florida’s new distracted driving law makes texting behind the wheel a primary offense, which means if a law enforcement officer sees you on your phone while operating a vehicle, they can pull you over. [RELATED: Police issue reminder about new texting and driving law in Florida | Gov. However, Drach said not all law enforcement agencies are offering the same grace period when it comes to texting while driving. [READ MORE: Here's what happened when Iowa implemented texting and driving law | Winter Park police: 'Don't be a clown.
What you can, can't do with your phone while driving
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s law enforcement officers can pull over drivers suspected of texting and driving starting Monday. Florida’s new distracted driving law makes texting behind the wheel a primary offense, which means if a law enforcement officer sees you on your phone while operating a vehicle they can pull you over. [RELATED: News 6 anchor Matt Austin testifies for distracted driving bill | 5 things to know about Florida's texting and driving bill | Timeline: News 6 Driving Change ]Gov. You will not be penalized for receiving a message while you’re driving or glancing at your phone when you receive one unless you’re in a hands-free zone. Law enforcement would rather you use Bluetooth, but you can still physically answer phone calls on your phone with no penalties unless you’re in a hands-free zone.
Here's how officers will enforce Florida's new texting and driving law
"I’ve been asked this a lot, and my answer is the same just as it is with every other law: very carefully," Trooper Steve said. Trooper Steve explained exactly what behavior would spark the interest of an officer. [ASK TROOPER STEVE: Submit your traffic questions here]"We are looking for that driver who is buried in their phone," he said. [READ: What Florida drivers can and can't do on thier phones]Trooper Steve said observing texting while driving has become pretty obvious. If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.
Winter Park police: 'Don't be a clown. Put the phone down.'
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The texting and driving law in Florida will become a primary offense on July 1. Winter Park police posted a fun video reminding drivers to not look at the phone while driving. The video shows a clown struggling to get through his day in Winter Park. Don't Be a Clown - Put the Phone Down Starting July 1, texting and driving is now a PRIMARY offense. Posted by Winter Park Police Department on Friday, June 28, 2019After leaving the coffee shop, the clown runs into a stranger because he was staring at his phone.
These Smartphone Apps are helping combat distracted driving
Beginning July 1, Florida’s law enforcement officers will be able to pull over drivers suspected of texting and driving. To help you avoid a ticket and drive safely we’ve compiled a list of smartphone apps that allow you to put the phone down and focus on the road. Read more about 12 apps to help you avoid distracted driving below.
These smartphone apps can help you avoid distracted driving
Beginning July 1, Florida’s law enforcement officers will be able to pull over drivers suspected of texting and driving. To help you avoid a ticket and drive safely we’ve compiled a list of smartphone apps that allow you to put the phone down and focus on the road. Read more about 12 apps to help you avoid distracted driving below.
Police issue reminder about new texting and driving law in Florida
MOUNT DORA, Fla. – Mount Dora police on Thursday posted a video reminding drivers that texting and driving in Florida will become a primary offense July 1. "We want to pass along some information you need to know while you're driving. News 6 led the Driving Change campaign after anchor Matt Austin was injured in a crash by a distracted driver. During Austin’s overnight stay in the hospital, the responding officer to the crash told him the driver had been texting. News 6 anchor Matt Austin details crash]It was then that Austin learned that in Florida, texting and driving was a secondary offense and officers could not issue tickets unless they witnessed the driver texting and driving and witnessed the driver also breaking another law.
How Driving Change was a News 6 team effort
Ron DeSantis signed HB107, a bill passed by the House and Senate to make texting and driving a primary offense in the state of Florida. It's the day that Florida took the first positive step in six long years to make its roads safer. For almost three years, News 6 has been working to Drive Change through our years-long campaign to push politicians to change the law. We’ve posted more than a hundred stories to our Driving Change page – stories that we hoped would lead to this day. To them and many others who have helped us get to this day, we say this was a team effort.
Driving Change: Building support for texting and driving law
ORLANDO, Fla. – In January 2017, just two months or so into our Driving Change campaign, we asked state Rep. Richard Starke, D-Weston, what he thought the chances were that a bill he had sponsored to change Florida’s texting and driving law would pass. But later that year, after we pressed the speaker of the House on why his chamber was dragging its feet on texting and driving, we got some good news. The speaker reconsidered and he directed two representatives to take up the fight and get a bill passed in the House. They got a bill passed in 2018, but a companion bill in the Senate died in its last committee. Pressure from the media, constituents and law enforcement agencies finally turned the tide and got the attention of Tallahassee politicians to make a change - a Driving Change.
Here's what happened when Iowa implemented texting and driving law
ORLANDO, Fla. – Texting and driving will be a primary offense in Florida starting July 1. In Iowa, texting and driving became a primary offense in 2017. CLICK HERE TO READ IOWA'S TEXTING AND DRIVING LAWCLICK HERE TO READ FLORIDA'S TEXTING AND DRIVING LAWLudwig said accidents are up since the law went into effect. Ludwig said the Iowa law making texting and driving a primary offense in 2017 is a step in the right direction. The Florida Texting and Driving law is written differently than the Iowa Texting and Driving law.
Floridians react to new texting and driving law
Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Friday morning that will allow law enforcement officers to pull over drivers who are texting and driving. Florida is among the last few states to implement such a law, and it's been years in the making. The new law not only elevates texting and driving to a primary offense, but also makes it illegal for drivers to hold a cellphone in either a school zone or a marked construction zone. Though the new law allows police officers to proactively make the roads safer, the fines for texting and driving stay the same. News 6 asked its audience how texting and driving has impacted their lives and they shared the following stories.
Driving Change: News 6 gets results with new texting law
The new law will make texting and driving a primary offense, which allows law enforcement officers to stop motorists who are texting while driving and write them citations. Florida was one of only four states left in the country in which texting and driving was not a primary offense. “It was a long and hard fight,” News 6 anchor Matt Austin said. Austin’s journey to drive change began the very next day, a journey News 6 has called “Driving Change.” The initiative's goal was to make texting and driving a primary offense in the state of Florida. “We started by bringing awareness to the holes in the current texting and driving law,” WKMG’s News Director Allison McGinley said.
Gov. DeSantis signs texting and driving bill into law, saving ‘countless lives’
Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Friday morning that will allow law enforcement officers to pull over drivers who are texting and driving. Though the new law allows police officers to proactively make the roads safer, the fines for texting and driving stay the same. 5 things to know about Florida's texting and driving billBefore signing the bill, DeSantis cited some of the statistics about distracted driving crashes. Since 2013, lawmakers have sponsored 31 different pieces of legislation to strengthen Florida’s texting and driving law. Simpson compared the texting and driving bill to the seat belt bill during the 1980s.
Driver avoids sentence 3 years after causing deadly crash
FROSTPROOF, Fla. – Three years after a judge ordered Daniel Lloyd Lightsey to perform community service for causing a deadly crash by driving carelessly, court officials have seen no evidence the driver has completed any of his sentence. "All I want to see is that he does the community service," Waldron said. This time, the judge suspended Lightsey's driver's license for six months and issued him a $1,000 fine as the law required. Until both the financial and community service requirements were satisfied, Lightsey's driver's license was supposed to remain suspended. A copy of Lightsey’s driving record obtained by News 6 from FLHSMV indicated his “Driver Privilege is VALID."
Florida considers banning all forms of distracted driving
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.
Driving change: You soon can be ticketed for texting and driving in Florida
Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday morning making texting and driving a primary offense in the state of Florida. News 6 has been behind the Driving Change effort ever since anchor Matt Austin was injured in a crash. Since 2013, lawmakers have sponsored 31 different pieces of legislation to strengthen Florida’s texting and driving law. On Sept. 9, 2016, News 6 anchor Matt Austin was waiting for a traffic light to turn green when a vehicle slammed into his car. [VIDEO BELOW: Florida passes texting and driving bill]
5 things to know about Florida's texting and driving bill
ORLANDO, Fla. – Through an initiative called Driving Change, News 6 has advocated for years for stricter texting and driving laws to make Florida roads safer. The Florida House voted overwhelmingly Monday to send a bill to make texting and driving a primary traffic offense to Gov. [RELATED: News 6 Driving Change timeline | News 6 anchor Matt Austin testifies for distracted driving bill | Could 2019 be the year Florida passes tougher distracted driving laws?] Bonus: When the bill becomes lawOnce HB 107 has been signed by the presiding officers, the bill will go to the governor. DeSantis will have seven days to sign the bill, veto the bill or let it become law without his signature.
When's the deadline for Gov. DeSantis to sign distracted driving bill?
So, with the bill passed, when is Gov. When HB 107 passed the House a second time -- the first version was amended by the Senate -- News 6 originally reported DeSantis would have seven days to sign the bill or it would automatically become a law. In Florida, as stated, the governor does have seven days to sign a bill or veto it, otherwise the bill automatically becomes a law. And if a lot of bills went through in the final days of the session, that could take some time. If you want to find out more about the whole process, read and click the excerpts below from the Florida Senate’s website:What is the deadline for the Governor to sign a bill?
Driving Change: DeSantis supports making texting and driving primary offense
“I’m very favorably disposed to saying no texting, making it a primary offense,” DeSantis told News 6 reporter Jerry Askin. That’s my policy.”Florida is one of four states that treats texting and driving as a secondary offense. For a police officer to give a driver a ticket for texting, the officer has to witness the driver committing another primary offense. HB 107 is the Florida Legislature’s efforts to bring Florida in line with 44 other states by making texting and driving a primary offense. Here are some of the details:• Tier 1: Texting while driving would become a primary offense.
Florida on precipice of enforceable texting and driving law
“Law enforcement has been pushing for making texting and driving a primary offense for several years now and are glad this is finally getting to the governor’s desk.”Since 2013, Florida has had secondary enforcement of texting and driving. Demings, a former Orange County sheriff, has long been an advocate for a tougher texting and driving law. “I’m a supporter that texting and driving should be a primary offense,” he added. Missouri only enforces texting and driving for drivers younger than 21; Montana has no texting and driving law. Law enforcement officers would be able to start ticketing motorists Jan. 1, 2020.
Timeline: News 6 Driving Change
Rick Scott signed into law Florida’s current texting and driving ban. A driver can only get a ticket for texting and driving if a police officer witnesses that same driver breaking another law. That’s secondary enforcement and it’s helped Florida plunge to the bottom of texting and driving accidents and deaths in the U.S. when compared to other states. Florida is just one of four states that still adheres to secondary enforcement and has no special restrictions on teens or school bus drivers using cellphones behind the wheel. For 2019, News 6 decided to create a timeline to follow the process of new bills aimed at putting more teeth behind the law in an attempt to create transparency and hold accountable politicians working for Floridians and those working against them.
Florida House vote sends texting and driving bill to governor's desk
ORLANDO, Fla. – UPDATE: The Florida House voted Monday to approve a bill to ban texting and driving. News 6 has advocated for three years for stricter texting and driving laws to make Florida's roads safer. The Florida House are going to vote on the amended House Bill 107 Monday afternoon. Ahead of the vote, advocates are rejoicing about how far the distracted driving bill has come. [RELATED: News 6 Driving Change timeline | News 6 anchor Matt Austin testifies for distracted driving bill | Could 2019 be the year Florida passes tougher distracted driving laws?]
Orange County school board member heading to Capitol ahead of texting and driving bill vote
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – News 6's efforts to drive change are coming to a major vote this week that would make the state's texting and driving law stricter. The state House of Representatives is expected to vote on House Bill 107, the texting and driving bill, on Monday. The organization spent the last several years pushing to make the state's texting and driving law stricter. [RELATED: News 6 Driving Change timeline | News 6 anchor Matt Austin testifies for distracted driving bill | Could 2019 be the year Florida passes tougher distracted driving laws?] HB 107 would make texting and driving an primary offense, which means an officer could pull you over if you're caught texting and driving.
Senate passes amended House bill aimed at ending distracted driving
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – UPDATE: The Florida Senate has passed House Bill 107, aimed at fighting distracted driving, after amending it. After the amendments were approved, the Senate voted 33-5 to pass the bill and send it back to the House for approval. This all comes after the Senate dumped its own bill, Senate Bill 76, and adopted the House bill in an attempt to find common ground between the pieces of legislation so that one will eventually end up on the governor's desk. PREVIOUS STORY:A Florida state senator has filed an amendment to a distracted driving bill seeking common ground to get legislation to the governor’s desk. The state Senate could consider the amendment to HB 107; move to debate and then vote on the bill.
Florida texting and driving bill stalls in Senate; where does that leave Florida drivers?
On Tuesday, the House passed its version of a stricter texting and driving bill by a vote on 104-9. The House bill would take texting and driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. On the Senate side, SB 76 was scheduled to be voted on today, but was pulled at the last minute. • The House bill goes to the Senate and Senate puts SB 76 on it and sends it back to the House. “I’ve been coming to Tallahassee for 10 years to try and get a texting bill passed,” said Augello, “I don’t want to keep coming back.
Florida Senate delays consideration of distracted driving bills
Lawmakers in Tallahassee Tuesday heard two important bills aimed at ending distracted driving, with the House passing House Bill 107. While both bills would make texting and driving a primary offense, there are differences between House Bill 107 and Senate Bill 76. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, goes even further when it comes to safety behind the wheel, mandating that drivers use only hands-free devices. Austin and News 6 have since been committed to continuing the station's Driving Change initiative and making the roads safer for everyone in the Sunshine State. During the first meeting, Simpson read the Senate bill in front of the full chamber and there were no amendments or objections.
Driving Change: Florida distracted driving bill passes final committee vote
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Senate bill that would allow law enforcement to pull over drivers for texting and driving passed its final Senate committee. It's the farthest a distracted driving bill has gone in Tallahassee. Senate Bill 76 passed the Rules Committee Wednesday afternoon and is now heading to the Florida Senate floor for debate. [Driving Change: News 6 anchor Matt Austin testifies for distracted driving bill | Distracted driving blamed for rise in traffic deaths, injuries]The final committee vote Wednesday means Florida is very close -- once again -- to passing a stricter texting and driving bill. News 6 has championed stricter distracted driving laws in Florida for the last three years.
News 6 anchor Matt Austin testifies for distracted driving bill
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state House version of a new distracted driving bill had its first committee meeting Tuesday. The state Senate adaptation (SB 76) was approved around 4 p.m. Monday by the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. News 6 anchor Matt Austin has been one of the most outspoken proponents of the bipartisan bill. Austin told his story during a transportation and infrastructure subcommittee meeting Tuesday in Tallahassee. “This whole crisis we have in our state right now of texting and driving wound up in my back seat,” Austin said.
Florida Senate committee approves distracted driving bill
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A state Senate committee has just approved the Senate’s version of a new distracted driving bill. Senate Bill 76 was approved around 4 p.m. Monday by the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. Floridians won't get a new distracted driving law yet as this is the third of four committee stops for the bill before it is voted on by the full Senate. Meanwhile, HB 107, the House version of the bill, will have its first committee meeting Tuesday. News 6 anchor Matt Austin will be live in Tallahassee on Tuesday evening starting at 4 p.m. to provide the latest on the committee meeting.
Could 2019 be the year Florida passes tougher distracted driving laws?
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For years, News 6 has been Driving Change by shining a light on Florida's toothless texting and driving laws and pushing for more commonsense legislation to make our roads safer. It’s called secondary enforcement and it’s a dangerous practice that does little to ensure safety and curtail distracted driving. Year in and year out, our leaders in Tallahassee have made excuses, inevitably killing tougher texting and driving and distracted driving bills silently in committee. “Let the will of the Florida House and the Florida Senate, which was elected by Florida voters, let us have our say,” he said. The House bill had little opposition, but the Senate version died in committee.