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Daily Legislative Brief from January 23, 2018

Legal & Judicial

SB 90-Relating to Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving

On Tuesday, January 23rd, SB 90 by Senator Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) was heard by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development and passed by a vote of 8 yeas to 2 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.

Currently, Florida law prohibits a person from texting, emailing, and instant messaging while driving; however, enforcement of this is a secondary offense, which means a law enforcement officer must detain a driver for another traffic offense in order to cite the driver for texting while driving. The bill would change the current enforcement of the ban on texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense, allowing law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for texting while driving. This legislation also specifies that the enforcement officer who has made the stop must inform the driver that they have the right to decline a search of their wireless communication device. SB 90 requires that all fees collected for this offense be remitted to the Department of Revenue to then be deposited into the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund of the Department of Health. The main goal of this legislation is to eliminate a component that contributes to distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.

SB 90 will go on to the full Senate Committee on Appropriations for its next hearing.

AIF supports legislation that addresses the issue of distracted driving and will ensure public safety for all on Florida’s roadways.