Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1022
       By Senator Gibson
       9-00714-15                                            20151022__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to wireless communications devices;
    3         amending s. 316.305, F.S.; prohibiting a person from
    4         operating a motor vehicle while dialing, or talking or
    5         listening on, a wireless communications device for the
    6         purpose of interpersonal communication or while using
    7         a wireless communications device to view or post an
    8         electronic message or initiate a command to the
    9         Internet; revising the exceptions; defining the term
   10         “hands-free electronic device”; requiring the
   11         Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to
   12         provide an educational awareness campaign that informs
   13         the motoring public about the Florida Ban on Handheld
   14         Wireless Communications While Driving Law; requiring
   15         the Department of Transportation to notify the
   16         motoring public about the Florida Ban on Handheld
   17         Wireless Communications While Driving Law; conforming
   18         provisions to changes made by the act; providing an
   19         effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   24  read:
   25         316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition.—
   26         (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Ban on
   27  Handheld Wireless Communications Texting While Driving Law.”
   28         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
   29         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
   30  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
   31  users.
   32         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of using a wireless
   33  communications device text messaging while driving a motor
   34  vehicle.
   35         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   36  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   37  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   38         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   39  vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons
   40  who are using a wireless communications device texting while
   41  driving.
   42         (3)(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle while:
   43         1. Dialing, or talking or listening on, a wireless
   44  communications device for the purpose of interpersonal
   45  communication;
   46         2. Manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers,
   47  symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications
   48  device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the
   49  purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but
   50  not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e
   51  mailing, and instant messaging; or
   52         3. Using a wireless communications device to view or post
   53  an electronic message or initiate a command to the Internet.
   55  As used in this section, the term “wireless communications
   56  device” means any handheld device that is used or capable of
   57  being used in a handheld manner;, that is designed or intended
   58  to receive interpersonal communication, or transmit text or
   59  character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to
   60  the Internet or any communications service as defined in s.
   61  812.15; and that allows text communications. For the purposes of
   62  this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being
   63  operated and is not subject to the prohibition in this
   64  paragraph.
   65         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
   66  operator who is:
   67         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
   68  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
   69  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
   70  medical services professional.
   71         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
   72  activity to law enforcement authorities.
   73         3. Receiving messages that are:
   74         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
   75  vehicle;
   76         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
   77  traffic, or weather alerts;
   78         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
   79         d. Radio broadcasts.
   80         4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
   81         5. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   82  does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or
   83  symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature
   84  or function.
   85         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   86  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
   87  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
   88         5.7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s.
   89  316.003, in autonomous mode.
   90         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication through
   91  the use of a hands-free electronic device. The term “hands-free
   92  electronic device means a mobile electronic device that has an
   93  internal feature or function or that is equipped with an
   94  attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such
   95  mobile electronic device, by which a user engages in
   96  conversation without the use of either hand.
   97         (c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or
   98  personal injury, a user’s billing records for a wireless
   99  communications device or the testimony of or written statements
  100  from appropriate authorities receiving such communications
  101  messages may be admissible as evidence in any proceeding to
  102  determine whether a violation of paragraph (a) has been
  103  committed.
  104         (4)(a) Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a) commits a
  105  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving
  106  violation as provided in chapter 318.
  107         (b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation
  108  of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a prior
  109  conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a
  110  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
  111  as provided in chapter 318.
  112         (5) Enforcement of this section by state or local law
  113  enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
  114  action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
  115  a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter,
  116  chapter 320, or chapter 322.
  117         (6) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  118  must provide an educational awareness campaign informing the
  119  motoring public about the Florida Ban on Handheld Wireless
  120  Communications While Driving Law. The Department of
  121  Transportation must notify the motoring public via message
  122  boards or existing roadway signs about the Florida Ban on
  123  Handheld Wireless Communications While Driving Law.
  124         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.