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Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law (SB 52) 316.305

The Florida House has passed bill SB52 banning text messaging while driving, more specifically prohibiting operating a motor vehicle while using a "wireless communications device". A "wireless communications device" is defined as "any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text…." This definition would include most phones, tablets, and laptops.

It is very important to note that the language of the bill does not require that you be actively typing into the device, but also includes, "… reading data in such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication…." (Italics added) Apparently, if you glance down at the screen of your phone or tablet and "read the device" while driving then you are in violation of the law.

There is no doubt that texting while driving is not a good idea, and can potentially be fatal. However, the question becomes do we really need another law on the books in Florida when there are already Florida laws in place that can be used to combat texting while driving? For instance, one can be cited or charged with careless driving or reckless driving. Nevertheless, Governor Scott is expected to sign the bill so it will likely be another law Floridians must contend with.

Categories: Criminal Defense
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