TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - Governor Rick Scott lent some support Thursday to legislative efforts aimed at making texting while driving a “primary” offense.
A House bill, which has the support of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, got unanimous support this month from members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and awaits an appearance before the Judiciary Committee.
The proposal would allow law-enforcement officers to stop vehicles when they see drivers texting behind the wheel.
Currently, motorists can only be charged with texting and driving if they are stopped for other offenses, such as speeding. Scott did not specifically endorse the plan, or say he would sign a bill, but he voiced opposition to the distractive practice.
“I clearly think we ought to be doing something like that. You see too many accidents, people are distracted," said Scott. "No one should be texting and driving.”
The House bill would allow motorists to text while in stationary vehicles and would require law-enforcement officers to inform drivers they have a right to decline a search of wireless devices.
The measure also would prohibit officers from confiscating handheld devices without warrants.
The Senate version of the bill has gotten through two committees and awaits an appearance before the Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.