Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Some say texting-while-driving bill doesn't do enough

The Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to make texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning motorists would be ticketed only if stopped for another offense.

The Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to make texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning motorists would be ticketed only if stopped for another offense.

A ban on texting while driving appears to be gaining favor in the Legislature, but those who have lost loved ones to texting accidents say the bill is too weak.

"This law is really not a step in the right direction. It's a crawl," said Elissa Schee, whose 13-year-old daughter died in a distracted-driving crash in Marion County in 2008. "I guess before we can walk, we have to crawl."

Schee said the ban should carry more severe penalties.

The bill passed the Florida Senate unanimously Tuesday but could encounter more opposition in the House, where it has bogged down in recent years.

The bill calls for a $30 fine for texting while driving. It would be considered a secondary offense, meaning motorists would be ticketed only if stopped for another offense such as careless driving.

A second offense would carry a fine of $60 with possible points on a driver's license.

Texting at red lights would still be allowed.

Many advocates for a ban complain that the proposal is too lax to change motorists' behavior.

"It's like having nothing," said Steve Augello, a Spring Hill resident whose daughter was killed in a 2008 texting crash.

He said the bill is unlikely to deter texting while driving.

Schee agreed.

"A $30 fine is not a deterrent" she said. "It's not even in line with a parking ticket."

But others say the proposal is another important first step in addressing a major problem.

"This is absolutely wonderful to hear that it's gotten this far," said Lisa Duffner, a Ruskin resident whose toddler son was killed in a texting crash in 1999. "You've got to start somewhere."

Some say texting-while-driving bill doesn't do enough 04/17/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rubio helps GOP secure votes to proceed on health care debate

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans secured enough votes to proceed to debate on health care proposals, with Marco Rubio of Floirda joining in.

  2. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  3. Trump's political speech to Scouts inspires parental outrage

    News

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's fiery speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia has infuriated parents and former scouts.

    President Donald Trump waves to the crowd of scouts at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean,W. Va., Monday. [AP Photo/Steve Helber]
  4. Florida woman says she buried puppy in park because she couldn't afford cremation

    Public Safety

    When Ashley Duey's 6-month-old puppy was hit by a car, she was devastated.

    It took her four hours to say goodbye.

    Ashley Duey, of Polk County, is trying to raise money to have her pet cremated. She tried burying her puppy in a park, but city officials said it was against the law. (Facebook)
  5. Recycling likely to be issue between the Two Ricks

    Blogs

    When Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker go head-to-head in tonight’s televised debate, they’ll likely tangle over the city’s sewage crisis.

    Recycling, especially Rick Baker's record on opposing it while mayor, may surface in tonight's televised debate