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Police could soon pull over people for texting in Florida

Police could soon pull over people for texting in Florida
Police could soon pull over people for texting in Florida
Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 12:51:47-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)- The Florida House of Representatives is expected to approve a measure that would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over people for texting while driving.

However, the bill appears stalled in the State Senate.

The House proposal, which was positioned for a vote, would make texting while driving a "primary" traffic offense, allowing officers to pull over motorists for texting.

It is currently a "secondary" offense, which means police can only write tickets for texting while driving when they stop motorists for other reasons, such as speeding.

"The reason this bill is necessary, on top of those laws, is for people who claim they are professional texters," said State Representative Jackie Toledo. "These people may be staying in their lanes and going the speed limit, but they are still putting our children and other drivers at risk."

However, some lawmakers like Democrat Al Jacquet have raised concerns that the bill could increase the chances that minorities will be racially profiled.

"This gives them another reason to pull people over," said Jacquet. "Have you considered the potential unintended consequences?"

In the Senate, the bill has yet to be heard by the Appropriations Committee, where the Chairman has indicated that he does not plan to take up the bill due to privacy concerns for those who may be pulled over.