Florida Senate - 2019                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 76
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Infrastructure and Security (Simpson)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, is amended to
    6  read:
    7         316.305 Driving while distracted Wireless communications
    8  devices; prohibition.—
    9         (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Driving Ban
   10  on Texting While Distracted Driving Law.”
   11         (2) For purposes of this section, the term:
   12         (a) “Driving while distracted” means the inattentive
   13  operation of a motor vehicle. Inattentive or distracted driving
   14  conduct includes reading, writing, performing personal grooming,
   15  applying a beauty aid or similar products, interacting with pets
   16  or unsecured cargo, using a personal wireless communications
   17  device, or engaging in any other activity, conduct, task, or
   18  action that causes distraction.
   19         (b) “Wireless communications device” means any handheld
   20  device that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text-
   21  or character-based messages, to record or view images, to access
   22  or store data, or to connect to the Internet or any
   23  communications service, as defined in s. 812.15, or which allows
   24  text communications. The term includes, but is not limited to, a
   25  cell phone, a tablet, a laptop, a two-way messaging device, or
   26  an electronic game that is used or capable of being used in a
   27  handheld manner. The term does not include a safety, security,
   28  or convenience feature built into a motor vehicle which does not
   29  require the use of a handheld device.
   30         (3)(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
   31         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
   32  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
   33  users.
   34         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of driving while
   35  distracted when operating text messaging while driving a motor
   36  vehicle.
   37         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   38  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   39  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   40         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   41  vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons
   42  who are texting while driving while distracted.
   43         (4)(3)(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle when
   44  driving while distracted while manually typing or entering
   45  multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a
   46  wireless communications device or while sending or reading data
   47  on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal
   48  communication, including, but not limited to, communication
   49  methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. As
   50  used in this section, the term “wireless communications device”
   51  means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a
   52  handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or
   53  transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data,
   54  or connect to the Internet or any communications service as
   55  defined in s. 812.15 and that allows text communications. For
   56  the purposes of this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is
   57  stationary is not being operated and is not subject to the
   58  prohibition in this paragraph.
   59         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
   60  operator who is:
   61         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
   62  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
   63  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
   64  medical services professional.
   65         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
   66  activity to law enforcement authorities.
   67         3. Receiving messages that are:
   68         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
   69  vehicle;
   70         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
   71  traffic, or weather alerts;
   72         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
   73         d. Radio broadcasts.
   74         4. Using a device or system in a hands-free manner for
   75  navigation purposes.
   76         5. Using a wireless communications device hands-free or
   77  hands-free in voice-operated mode, including, but not limited
   78  to, a factory-installed or after-market Bluetooth device
   79  Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not
   80  require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or symbols,
   81  except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or
   82  function.
   83         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   84  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
   85  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
   86         6.7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s.
   87  316.003, in autonomous mode.
   88         (c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or
   89  serious bodily injury, as defined in s. 316.027 personal injury,
   90  a user’s billing records for a wireless communications device or
   91  the testimony of or written statements from appropriate
   92  authorities receiving such messages may be admissible as
   93  evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a violation of
   94  paragraph (a) has been committed.
   95         (d) Law enforcement officers must indicate the type of
   96  distraction in the comment section of the uniform traffic
   97  citation.
   98         (5)(4)(a)Any person who violates this section commits a
   99  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving
  100  violation, as provided in chapter 318, and shall have 3 points
  101  assessed against his or her driver license as set forth in s.
  102  322.27. For a first offense of this section, in lieu of the
  103  penalty specified in s. 318.18 and the assessment of points, a
  104  person who violates this section may elect to participate in a
  105  distracted driving safety program approved by the Department of
  106  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Upon completion of such
  107  program, the penalty specified in s. 318.18 and associated costs
  108  may be waived by the clerk of the court and the assessment of
  109  points must be waived Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a)
  110  commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a
  111  nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
  112         (b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation
  113  of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a prior
  114  conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a
  115  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
  116  as provided in chapter 318.
  117         (6)(5)Notwithstanding s. 318.21, all proceeds collected
  118  pursuant to s. 318.18 for violations of this section must be
  119  remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
  120  Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund of the Department of
  121  Health Enforcement of this section by state or local law
  122  enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
  123  action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
  124  a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter,
  125  chapter 320, or chapter 322.
  126         Section 2. This act shall take affect October 1, 2019.
  128  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  129  And the title is amended as follows:
  130         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  131  and insert:
  132                        A bill to be entitled                      
  133         An act relating to driving while distracted; amending
  134         s. 316.305, F.S.; revising the short title; defining
  135         the term “driving while distracted”; redefining the
  136         term “wireless communications device”; revising
  137         legislative intent; prohibiting a person from
  138         operating a motor vehicle when driving while
  139         distracted; revising exceptions to such prohibition;
  140         revising crash results for which a user’s billing
  141         records for a wireless communications device or the
  142         testimony of or written statements from certain
  143         authorities are admissible as evidence; requiring that
  144         law enforcement officers indicate specified
  145         information in the uniform traffic citation; providing
  146         penalties for driving while distracted; authorizing
  147         participation in a distracted driving safety program
  148         for a first offense, in lieu of specified penalties;
  149         requiring the deposit of fines into the Emergency
  150         Medical Services Trust Fund; deleting a provision
  151         requiring that enforcement of this section be
  152         accomplished only as a secondary action; providing an
  153         effective date.