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Texting and Driving in Florida: House passes bill making it a primary offense

Posted at 9:41 AM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 09:45:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Texting while driving in Florida would become a primary traffic offense punishable by fines under legislation passed by the Florida House.

The vote was 104-9 Tuesday for the bill, which now goes to the Senate where a similar bill is set for debate Wednesday.

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Under current law, officers can only cite drivers for texting if they are pulled over for some other violation. The House-passed bill would allow officers to stop motorists simply for texting alone.

A first offense is punishable by a $30 fine, with a second offense costing $60. Court costs and fees also would apply.

The texting ban does not apply to a driver using a navigation device or system or to a driver whose vehicle is stationary.

The bill requires reports to guard against racial profiling.