State Rep Proposes Ban on Using Cell Phones to Text While Driving

A Florida State Representative is pushing a bill that would ban cell phones from being used for texting while driving.

Rep. Ray Pilon is pushing a bill that would make Florida the thirty-sixth state in the nation to ban cell phones while driving.

Under the proposal, those caught using their phones while driving would have points added against their license and could face a fine.

Drivers are mixed on the proposed ban.

"It requires all of our attention while driving otherwise we are a threat to ourselves as well as others, especially those who might text with the use of a cell phone," says Wilson Barnes.

"It's going to be super inconvenient when it happens because that for a lot of us is when we get stuff done is when we're driving from one appointment to the next appointment and try to return calls and get some work done," says Ben Kaempfer.

Under the proposed bill, people who use a blue tooth or other hands-free devices would be exempt.

It would also be a secondary offense, which means law enforcement could not pull drivers over specifically for using their phone. Instead, a driver would have to be pulled over for another driving violation - but could be issued a ticket for both once they are stopped.

The bill has yet to go to committee.

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  • by waste on Nov 18, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    This will be an epic fail. These same legislators and law enforcement talk on cells while driving all the time. Another lame duck session coming up so they trying to find something to argue about. They need to worry about jobs, property taxes and runaway homeowners insurance and other priorities like lower gas prices. Its the economy stupid. Another waste of taxpayer money.
  • by Tom Location: Madison on Nov 18, 2011 at 07:12 AM
    Great, Next we will see florida law enforcement using this as an interdiction tool and plugging a data logger into our cell phones when we are pulled over. (What happens when I am driving behind some reckless idiot who cannot maintain their lane and I need to call *FHP???? I have to pull over to do that? Can't follow the violator to ensure FHP catches up??? STUPID.
  • by Timothy Location: Miccosukee on Nov 18, 2011 at 06:36 AM
    Do NOT exempt the blue tooth and other devices! If we could remove radios too that would help. When behind the wheel, think about what you are doing. That is a two ton high powered piece of steel(and plastic). Show respect to others and keep your mind on what you are doing!
  • by Brian Location: Tallahassee on Nov 18, 2011 at 06:00 AM
    This will have no effect here in Tallahassee, because the police are never around to enforce it. The only time I see TPD is after the event of a crime or accident. They can't even enforce Jay-Walking how would they enforce this?
    • reply
      by FTW on Nov 18, 2011 at 07:45 AM in reply to Brian
      "The only time I see TPD is after the event of a crime or accident" or painting walls.
  • by Shawn Location: Tallahassee on Nov 18, 2011 at 03:26 AM
    Will this also apply tor the TPD officer who almost side-swiped me while using his laptop?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 18, 2011 at 01:41 AM
    not a bad idead but i hope they realize that the law applies to them as well as local law enforcement as well.
  • by Reagan Republican on Nov 17, 2011 at 09:35 PM
    The Govt. wants to control about everything we do... Ask yourself are we really free in America? What is the difference between talking to a passenger(s) in your vehicle or talking to someone on your phone with bluetooth in your vehicle? Why should the Govt. be allowed tell YOU what behavior is appropriate in your own vehicle when that same behavior is acceptable in a public place?
    • reply
      by Widower on Nov 18, 2011 at 05:16 AM in reply to Reagan Republican
      Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you read the story, the law would exempt those who use a hands free device. Bottom line is that drivers should be paying attention to driving, not distractions.
      • reply
        by Reagan Republican on Nov 18, 2011 at 05:09 PM in reply to Widower
        With all due respect, widower, not all Americans can afford bluetooth and someone's economic situation should not be a factor whether they can or cannot talk on a phone in their own car.
    • reply
      by Gerry on Nov 18, 2011 at 06:10 AM in reply to Reagan Republican
      A passenger can see what's going on around the vehicle. An adult passenger can sometimes help in navigating or making the driver aware of hazards. An adult passenger likely has the sense to be concerned about his or her own safety. This law is a good idea, except it should be a primary offense.
      • reply
        by Reagan Republican on Nov 18, 2011 at 05:14 PM in reply to Gerry
        @ Gerry Why am I not surprised that you would tell the driver of the vehicle how to drive. I bet you can't be a passenger for a minimum of a mile without telling him/her how to drive you down the road.
        • reply
          by God Bless America on Nov 19, 2011 at 05:57 AM in reply to Reagan Republican
          Joke of the day!! Gerry!
  • by Big Daddy on Nov 17, 2011 at 07:32 PM
    Thats right let waste time on these issues when we have bigger issues to handle. Lets think of ways to better education etc, instead the folks making these laws with 200,000 spending accounts are as usual wasting tax payer dollars working on useless bills. People are out of jobs. Lets find ways to get jobs in Florida. The only way to start getting the point across to these politicans is to start voting them out of office, they work for the people of Florida until then we will have to put up with career politicians padding their pockets.
    • reply
      by Mr. Pervus on Nov 18, 2011 at 02:44 AM in reply to Big Daddy
      At least we can still have sex while driving.
  • by Steve Location: Not in Marietta on Nov 17, 2011 at 06:40 PM
    Very good news! I'm frankly exhausted after a road trip, from dodging the animals texting their boyfriends and hoodrat gangsters to gather for a party! They can't stay in their lane and send a text to mom's new boyfriends sister in law. The worst are the punks on the phone that think it's okay to change lanes at 70 in a forty-five zone, because gramma is moving too slow. In other words, I want the phones shut down, while the automobile is in motion. Software is out there to do this today, just have to muster the stones to get it done! It's the best, and the safest option out there, and it's out there now!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 18, 2011 at 01:43 AM in reply to Steve
      i understand your frusteration but what happens when it's law enforcement? are you sure you've never picked up you phone while driving to maybe get directions somewhere?
      • reply
        by Marianne Green on Nov 19, 2011 at 05:13 AM in reply to
        Not too long ago, a driver would make time to leave the road to get directions. There are places to leave the interstate to call for directions. I decided to get a GPS to navigate Tallahassee!
    • reply
      by Don't tell me what to do on Nov 18, 2011 at 07:25 AM in reply to Steve
      I don't need the government passing another law about what I can and can't do. I talk on my cell phone while driving and I am very capable of paying attention to the road and my surroundings. I have not been in a car accident or received a ticket in over 15 years.
  • by anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 06:35 PM
    Good luck enforcing this. They don't stop folks for primary will a secondary offense even matter? This is reactionary, likely to deaths caused by texting. But how to, truthfully, stop it?
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