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Florida Senate passes bill to ban texting while driving

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 18:02:08-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Texting while driving would become a primary traffic offense along with talking on a handheld cellphone in school and construction zones under a bill passed by the Florida Senate.

The Senate's 33-5 vote on Thursday made changes to a House bill passed two days earlier. The bill now goes back to the House.

The Senate added the language on school and construction zones. Drivers would have to use hands-free devices if they wanted to talk on their phones in those areas.

Under current law, officers can only cite drivers for texting if they are pulled over for some other violation. The bill would allow officers to stop motorists simply for texting or using a handheld phone in prohibited zones.

The bill requires reports to guard against racial profiling.