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Poll: Are tougher penalties in Florida for texting while driving a good idea?

By Michael Van Sickler | Times Staff
Published: December 6, 2017 Updated: December 6, 2017 at 10:26 AM
State lawmakers are considering making it a primary offense to text while driving, a move that is gaining support, but also sparking concerns that it will lead to racial profiling. [Tribune file photo]

Florida lawmakers are considering making driving while texting a primary offense, so that law enforcement can pull you over if they see you do it.

While current state law allows for fines of $20, it doesn’t allow for any points assessed to a driver’s record. A bill now being considered by state lawmakers would raise the fine to $30 and include an assessment of six points to a driver’s record if the texting causes a crash.

While gaining support among grassroots groups and law enforcement, some of the members of the Florida Legislature’s black caucus say they worry the tougher law encourages greater officer discretion that could lead to a disproportionate number of African-Americans getting stopped and searched.

What do you think? Does Florida need a tougher law on texting while driving? Vote and tell us in the comments below.


Tougher texting-while-driving law gains House speaker’s support

Support for new texting-while-driving law grows. So do concerns it will lead to more racial profiling.