Florida Senate - 2013                                      SB 52
       By Senator Detert
       28-00066-13                                             201352__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the use of wireless communications
    3         devices while driving; creating s. 316.305, F.S.;
    4         creating the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving
    5         Law”; providing legislative intent; prohibiting the
    6         operation of a motor vehicle while using a wireless
    7         communications device for certain purposes; defining
    8         the term “wireless communications device”; providing
    9         exceptions; specifying information that is admissible
   10         as evidence of a violation; providing penalties;
   11         providing for enforcement as a secondary action;
   12         amending s. 322.27, F.S.; providing for points to be
   13         assessed against a driver license for the unlawful use
   14         of a wireless communications device within a school
   15         safety zone or resulting in a crash; providing an
   16         effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, is created to
   21  read:
   22         316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition.—
   23         (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Ban on
   24  Texting While Driving Law.”
   25         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
   26         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
   27  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
   28  users.
   29         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of text messaging
   30  while driving a motor vehicle.
   31         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   32  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   33  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   34         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   35  vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons
   36  who are texting while driving.
   37         (3)(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle while
   38  manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols,
   39  or other characters into a wireless communications device or
   40  while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose
   41  of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not
   42  limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing,
   43  and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term
   44  “wireless communications device” means any device that is
   45  designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character
   46  based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet
   47  or any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that
   48  allows text communications. A motor vehicle that is legally
   49  parked is not being operated and is not subject to the
   50  prohibition in this paragraph.
   51         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
   52  operator who is:
   53         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
   54  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
   55  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
   56  medical services professional.
   57         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
   58  activity to law enforcement authorities.
   59         3. Receiving messages that are:
   60         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
   61  vehicle;
   62         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
   63  traffic, or weather alerts;
   64         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
   65         d. Radio broadcasts.
   66         4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
   67         5. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   68  does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or
   69  symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature
   70  or function.
   71         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   72  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
   73  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
   74         (c) A user’s billing records for a wireless communications
   75  device or the testimony of or written statements from
   76  appropriate authorities receiving such messages may be
   77  admissible as evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a
   78  violation of paragraph (a) has been committed.
   79         (4)(a) Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a) commits a
   80  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving
   81  violation as provided in chapter 318.
   82         (b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation
   83  of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a prior
   84  conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a
   85  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
   86  as provided in chapter 318.
   87         (5) Enforcement of this section by state or local law
   88  enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
   89  action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
   90  a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter,
   91  chapter 320, or chapter 322.
   92         Section 2. Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section
   93  322.27, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   94         322.27 Authority of department to suspend or revoke driver
   95  license or identification card.—
   96         (3) There is established a point system for evaluation of
   97  convictions of violations of motor vehicle laws or ordinances,
   98  and violations of applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b) when
   99  such violations involve the use of motor vehicles, for the
  100  determination of the continuing qualification of any person to
  101  operate a motor vehicle. The department is authorized to suspend
  102  the license of any person upon showing of its records or other
  103  good and sufficient evidence that the licensee has been
  104  convicted of violation of motor vehicle laws or ordinances, or
  105  applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b), amounting to 12 or
  106  more points as determined by the point system. The suspension
  107  shall be for a period of not more than 1 year.
  108         (d) The point system shall have as its basic element a
  109  graduated scale of points assigning relative values to
  110  convictions of the following violations:
  111         1. Reckless driving, willful and wanton—4 points.
  112         2. Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property
  113  damage of more than $50—6 points.
  114         3. Unlawful speed, or unlawful use of a wireless
  115  communications device, resulting in a crash—6 points.
  116         4. Passing a stopped school bus—4 points.
  117         5. Unlawful speed:
  118         a. Not in excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted
  119  speed—3 points.
  120         b. In excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted
  121  speed—4 points.
  122         6. A violation of a traffic control signal device as
  123  provided in s. 316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1.—4 points.
  124  However, no points shall be imposed for a violation of s.
  125  316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1. when a driver has failed to
  126  stop at a traffic signal and when enforced by a traffic
  127  infraction enforcement officer. In addition, a violation of s.
  128  316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1. when a driver has failed to
  129  stop at a traffic signal and when enforced by a traffic
  130  infraction enforcement officer may not be used for purposes of
  131  setting motor vehicle insurance rates.
  132         7. All other moving violations (including parking on a
  133  highway outside the limits of a municipality)—3 points. However,
  134  no points shall be imposed for a violation of s. 316.0741 or s.
  135  316.2065(11); and points shall be imposed for a violation of s.
  136  316.1001 only when imposed by the court after a hearing pursuant
  137  to s. 318.14(5).
  138         8. Any moving violation covered in this paragraph above,
  139  excluding unlawful speed and unlawful use of a wireless
  140  communications device, resulting in a crash—4 points.
  141         9. Any conviction under s. 403.413(6)(b)—3 points.
  142         10. Any conviction under s. 316.0775(2)—4 points.
  143         11. Any moving violation covered in this paragraph
  144  committed in conjunction with the unlawful use of a wireless
  145  communications device within a school safety zone—2 points.
  146         Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2013.