Florida Senate - 2019                        CS for CS for SB 76
       By the Committees on Innovation, Industry, and Technology; and
       Infrastructure and Security; and Senators Simpson, Passidomo,
       Hooper, Mayfield, Book, Rouson, Berman, Perry, Taddeo, and Cruz
       580-02753-19                                            201976c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to driving while distracted; amending
    3         s. 316.305, F.S.; revising the short title; defining
    4         the term “driving while distracted”; redefining the
    5         term “wireless communications device”; revising
    6         legislative intent; prohibiting a person from
    7         operating a motor vehicle when driving while
    8         distracted; authorizing a law enforcement officer
    9         during a specified period to stop motor vehicles to
   10         issue warnings to persons who are driving while
   11         distracted; providing for repeal of a provision;
   12         authorizing a law enforcement officer, after a
   13         specified date, to stop motor vehicles and issue
   14         citations to persons who are driving while distracted;
   15         revising exceptions to such prohibition; revising
   16         crash results for which a user’s billing records for a
   17         wireless communications device or the testimony of or
   18         written statements from certain authorities are
   19         admissible as evidence; requiring that law enforcement
   20         officers indicate specified information in the uniform
   21         traffic citation; providing penalties for driving
   22         while distracted; authorizing participation in a
   23         distracted driving safety program for a first offense,
   24         in lieu of specified penalties; authorizing a clerk of
   25         the court to dismiss a case and assess court costs
   26         under certain circumstances; requiring the deposit of
   27         fines into the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund;
   28         deleting a provision requiring that enforcement of
   29         this section be accomplished only as a secondary
   30         action; requiring a law enforcement officer to record
   31         the race and ethnicity of a violator when issuing a
   32         citation for a violation of this section; requiring
   33         all law enforcement agencies to maintain such
   34         information and report the information to the
   35         Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in a
   36         form and manner determined by the department;
   37         beginning on a specified date, requiring the
   38         department to annually report the data to the Governor
   39         and Legislature; providing requirements for the
   40         report; authorizing the Department of Highway Safety
   41         and Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the
   42         Department of Transportation, to implement a statewide
   43         campaign to raise awareness and prevent drivers from
   44         driving while distracted; authorizing the department
   45         to use certain messaging to implement the campaign;
   46         authorizing the department to contract with certain
   47         entities for certain purposes; providing contract
   48         authority; providing effective dates.
   50  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   52         Section 1. Effective October 1, 2019, section 316.305,
   53  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   54         316.305 Driving while distracted Wireless communications
   55  devices; prohibition.—
   56         (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Driving Ban
   57  on Texting While Distracted Driving Law.”
   58         (2) For purposes of this section, the term:
   59         (a) “Driving while distracted” means the inattentive
   60  operation of a motor vehicle while the vehicle is in motion.
   61  Inattentive or distracted driving conduct includes reading,
   62  writing, performing personal grooming, applying a beauty aid or
   63  similar products, interacting with pets or unsecured cargo,
   64  using a personal wireless communications device, or engaging in
   65  any other activity, conduct, task, or action that causes
   66  distraction.
   67         (b) “Wireless communications device” means any handheld
   68  device that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text-
   69  or character-based messages, to record or view images, to access
   70  or store data, or to connect to the Internet or any
   71  communications service, as defined in s. 812.15, or which allows
   72  text communications. The term includes, but is not limited to, a
   73  cell phone, a tablet, a laptop, a two-way messaging device, or
   74  an electronic game that is used or capable of being used in a
   75  handheld manner. The term does not include a safety, security,
   76  or convenience feature built into a motor vehicle which does not
   77  require the use of a handheld device.
   78         (3)(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
   79         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
   80  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
   81  users.
   82         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of driving while
   83  distracted when operating text messaging while driving a motor
   84  vehicle while the vehicle is in motion.
   85         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   86  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   87  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   88         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   89  vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons
   90  who are texting while driving while distracted as provided in
   91  subsection (4).
   92         (4)(3)(a)1. A person may not operate a motor vehicle when
   93  driving while distracted while manually typing or entering
   94  multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a
   95  wireless communications device or while sending or reading data
   96  on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal
   97  communication, including, but not limited to, communication
   98  methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. As
   99  used in this section, the term “wireless communications device”
  100  means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a
  101  handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or
  102  transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data,
  103  or connect to the Internet or any communications service as
  104  defined in s. 812.15 and that allows text communications. For
  105  the purposes of this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is
  106  stationary is not being operated and is not subject to the
  107  prohibition in this paragraph.
  108         2.a. During the period of October 1, 2019, through December
  109  31, 2019, a law enforcement officer may stop motor vehicles to
  110  issue verbal or written warnings to persons who are driving
  111  while distracted for the purposes of informing and educating
  112  such persons. This sub-subparagraph shall stand repealed on
  113  October 1, 2020.
  114         b. After December 31, 2019, a law enforcement officer may
  115  stop motor vehicles and issue citations to persons who are
  116  driving while distracted.
  117         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
  118  operator who is:
  119         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
  120  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
  121  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
  122  medical services professional.
  123         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
  124  activity to law enforcement authorities.
  125         3. Receiving messages that are:
  126         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
  127  vehicle;
  128         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
  129  traffic, or weather alerts;
  130         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
  131         d. Radio broadcasts.
  132         4. Using a device or system in a hands-free manner for
  133  navigation purposes.
  134         5. Using a wireless communications device hands-free or
  135  hands-free in voice-operated mode, including, but not limited
  136  to, a factory-installed or after-market Bluetooth device
  137  Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not
  138  require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or symbols,
  139  except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or
  140  function.
  141         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
  142  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
  143  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
  144         6.7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s.
  145  316.003, in autonomous mode.
  146         (c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or
  147  serious bodily injury, as defined in s. 316.027 personal injury,
  148  a user’s billing records for a wireless communications device or
  149  the testimony of or written statements from appropriate
  150  authorities receiving such messages may be admissible as
  151  evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a violation of
  152  paragraph (a) has been committed.
  153         (d) Law enforcement officers must indicate the type of
  154  distraction in the comment section of the uniform traffic
  155  citation.
  156         (5)(4)(a) Any person who violates this section commits a
  157  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving
  158  violation, as provided in chapter 318, and shall have 3 points
  159  assessed against his or her driver license as set forth in s.
  160  322.27. For a first offense under this section, in lieu of the
  161  penalty specified in s. 318.18 and the assessment of points, a
  162  person who violates this section may elect to participate in a
  163  distracted driving safety program approved by the Department of
  164  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Upon completion of such
  165  program, the penalty specified in s. 318.18 and associated costs
  166  may be waived by the clerk of the court and the assessment of
  167  points must be waived Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a)
  168  commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a
  169  nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
  170         (b) The clerk of the court may dismiss a case and assess
  171  court costs in accordance with s. 318.18(11)(a) for a nonmoving
  172  traffic infraction for a person who is cited for a first time
  173  violation of this section if the inattentive or distracted
  174  driving conduct resulting in the violation is for the use of a
  175  personal wireless communications device and the person shows the
  176  clerk proof of purchase of equipment that enables his or her
  177  personal wireless communications device to be used in a hands
  178  free manner Any person who commits a second or subsequent
  179  violation of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a
  180  prior conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a
  181  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
  182  as provided in chapter 318.
  183         (6)(5)Notwithstanding s. 318.21, all proceeds collected
  184  pursuant to s. 318.18 for violations of this section must be
  185  remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
  186  Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund of the Department of
  187  Health Enforcement of this section by state or local law
  188  enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
  189  action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
  190  a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter,
  191  chapter 320, or chapter 322.
  192         (7) When a law enforcement officer issues a citation for a
  193  violation of this section, the law enforcement officer must
  194  record the race and ethnicity of the violator. All law
  195  enforcement agencies must maintain such information and must
  196  report such information to the department in a form and manner
  197  determined by the department. Beginning February 1, 2020, the
  198  department shall annually report the data collected under this
  199  subsection to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
  200  Speaker of the House of Representatives. The data collected must
  201  be reported at least by statewide totals for local law
  202  enforcement agencies, state law enforcement agencies, and state
  203  university law enforcement agencies. The statewide total for
  204  local law enforcement agencies must combine the data for the
  205  county sheriffs and the municipal law enforcement agencies.
  206         Section 2. (1) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor
  207  Vehicles, in consultation with the Department of Transportation,
  208  may implement a statewide campaign to raise awareness and
  209  prevent drivers from driving while distracted. The Department of
  210  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may use television messaging,
  211  radio broadcasts, print media, digital strategies, social media,
  212  and any other form of messaging deemed necessary and appropriate
  213  by the department to implement the campaign.
  214         (2) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may
  215  contract with counties, local law enforcement agencies, safety
  216  councils, and public schools to assist with planning and
  217  conducting the statewide driving while distracted safety and
  218  public awareness campaign in a manner that encourages compliance
  219  with s. 316.305, Florida Statutes.
  220         Section 3. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  221  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2019.