Florida Senate - 2015                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 246
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                   Comm: WD            .                                
                  03/31/2015           .                                

       The Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities
       (Gibson) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 17 - 74
    4  and insert:
    5  Handheld Wireless Communications Texting While Driving Law.”
    6         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
    7         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
    8  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
    9  users.
   10         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of using a wireless
   11  communications device text messaging while driving a motor
   12  vehicle.
   13         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   14  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   15  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   16         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   17  vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons
   18  who are using a wireless communications device texting while
   19  driving.
   20         (3)(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle while:
   21         1. Dialing, or talking or listening on, a wireless
   22  communications device for the purpose of interpersonal
   23  communication;
   24         2. Manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers,
   25  symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications
   26  device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the
   27  purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but
   28  not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e
   29  mailing, and instant messaging; or
   30         3. Using a wireless communications device to view or post
   31  an electronic message or initiate a command to the Internet.
   33  As used in this section, the term “wireless communications
   34  device” means a any handheld device that is used or capable of
   35  being used in a handheld manner;, that is designed or intended
   36  to receive interpersonal communication, or transmit text or
   37  character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to
   38  the Internet or any communications service as defined in s.
   39  812.15; and that allows text communications. For the purposes of
   40  this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being
   41  operated and is not subject to the prohibition in this
   42  paragraph.
   43         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
   44  operator who is:
   45         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
   46  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
   47  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
   48  medical services professional.
   49         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
   50  activity to law enforcement authorities.
   51         3. Receiving messages that are:
   52         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
   53  vehicle;
   54         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
   55  traffic, or weather alerts;
   56         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
   57         d. Radio broadcasts.
   58         4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
   59         5. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   60  does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or
   61  symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature
   62  or function.
   63         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   64  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
   65  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
   66         5.7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s.
   67  316.003, in autonomous mode.
   68         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication through
   69  the use of a hands-free electronic device. The term “hands-free
   70  electronic device” means a mobile electronic device that has an
   71  internal feature or function or that is equipped with an
   72  attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such
   73  mobile electronic device, by which a user engages in
   74  conversation without the use of either hand.
   75         (c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or
   76  personal injury, a user’s billing records for a wireless
   77  communications device or the testimony of or written statements
   78  from appropriate authorities receiving such communications
   79  messages may be
   81  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   82  And the title is amended as follows:
   83         Delete lines 2 - 4
   84  and insert:
   85         An act relating to wireless communications devices;
   86         amending s. 316.305, F.S.; revising the short title;
   87         prohibiting a person from operating a motor vehicle
   88         while dialing, or talking or listening on, a wireless
   89         communications device for the purpose of interpersonal
   90         communication or while using a wireless communications
   91         device to view or post an electronic message or
   92         initiate a command to the Internet; revising the
   93         exceptions to the prohibition; defining the term
   94         “hands-free electronic device”; revising the penalties
   95         for violations of the Florida Ban on Handheld Wireless
   96         Communications While Driving Law to