Florida Senate - 2019                 CS for CS for CS for SB 76
       By the Committees on Judiciary; Innovation, Industry, and
       Technology; and Infrastructure and Security; and Senators
       Simpson, Passidomo, Hooper, Mayfield, Book, Rouson, Berman,
       Perry, Taddeo, and Cruz
       590-03464-19                                            201976c3
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to texting while driving; amending s.
    3         316.305, F.S.; revising legislative intent;
    4         authorizing law enforcement officers, during a
    5         specified timeframe, to stop motor vehicles to issue
    6         verbal or written warnings to persons who are texting
    7         while driving; specifying the purpose for such stops;
    8         repealing the authorization as of a specified date;
    9         authorizing law enforcement officers, after a
   10         specified date, to stop motor vehicles and issue
   11         citations to persons who are texting while driving;
   12         adding a circumstance under which a wireless
   13         communications device user’s billing records or
   14         related testimony or statements may be admissible as
   15         evidence in certain proceedings; providing penalties;
   16         authorizing participation in a distracted driving
   17         safety program in lieu of the specified penalties for
   18         first-time offenders; requiring the deposit of related
   19         fines into the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund;
   20         deleting a provision requiring that enforcement be
   21         accomplished only as a secondary action; authorizing
   22         the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,
   23         in consultation with the Department of Transportation,
   24         to implement a statewide safety and public awareness
   25         campaign; authorizing the Department of Highway Safety
   26         and Motor Vehicles to use certain messaging to
   27         implement the campaign; authorizing the department to
   28         contract with certain entities for certain purposes;
   29         providing effective dates.
   31  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   33         Section 1. Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   34  read:
   35         316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition.—
   36         (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Ban on
   37  Texting While Driving Law.”
   38         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
   39         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
   40  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
   41  users.
   42         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of driving while
   43  text messaging when operating while driving a motor vehicle
   44  while the vehicle is in motion.
   45         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   46  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   47  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   48         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   49  vehicles and issue citations as a primary secondary offense to
   50  persons who are texting while driving as provided in subsection
   51  (3).
   52         (3)(a)1. A person may not operate a motor vehicle while
   53  manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols,
   54  or other characters into a wireless communications device or
   55  while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose
   56  of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not
   57  limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing,
   58  and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term
   59  “wireless communications device” means any handheld device used
   60  or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed
   61  or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based
   62  messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or
   63  any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that
   64  allows text communications. For the purposes of this paragraph,
   65  a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated and is
   66  not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.
   67         2.a. During the period from October 1, 2019, through
   68  December 31, 2019, a law enforcement officer may stop motor
   69  vehicles to issue verbal or written warnings to persons who are
   70  texting while driving, for the purposes of informing and
   71  educating such persons. This sub-subparagraph shall stand
   72  repealed on October 1, 2020.
   73         b. After December 31, 2019, a law enforcement officer may
   74  stop motor vehicles and issue citations to persons who are
   75  texting while driving.
   76         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
   77  operator who is:
   78         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
   79  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
   80  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
   81  medical services professional.
   82         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
   83  activity to law enforcement authorities.
   84         3. Receiving messages that are:
   85         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
   86  vehicle;
   87         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
   88  traffic, or weather alerts;
   89         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
   90         d. Radio broadcasts.
   91         4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
   92         5. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   93  does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or
   94  symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature
   95  or function.
   96         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   97  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
   98  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
   99         7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s.
  100  316.003, in autonomous mode.
  101         (c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or
  102  serious bodily injury, as defined in s. 316.027 personal injury,
  103  a user’s billing records for a wireless communications device or
  104  the testimony of or written statements from appropriate
  105  authorities receiving such messages may be admissible as
  106  evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a violation of
  107  paragraph (a) has been committed.
  108         (4)(a)Any person who violates this section commits a
  109  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving
  110  violation, as provided in chapter 318, and shall have 3 points
  111  assessed against his or her driver license as set forth in s.
  112  322.27. For a first offense under this section, in lieu of the
  113  penalty specified in s. 318.18 and the assessment of points, a
  114  person who violates this section may elect to participate in a
  115  distracted driving safety program approved by the Department of
  116  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Upon completion of such
  117  program, the penalty specified in s. 318.18 and associated costs
  118  may be waived by the clerk of the court and the assessment of
  119  points must be waived Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a)
  120  commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a
  121  nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
  122         (b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation
  123  of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a prior
  124  conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a
  125  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
  126  as provided in chapter 318.
  127         (5) Notwithstanding s. 318.21, all proceeds collected
  128  pursuant to s. 318.18 for violations of this section must be
  129  remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
  130  Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund of the Department of
  131  Health Enforcement of this section by state or local law
  132  enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
  133  action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
  134  a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter,
  135  chapter 320, or chapter 322.
  136         Section 2. (1) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor
  137  Vehicles, in consultation with the Department of Transportation,
  138  may implement a statewide campaign to raise awareness and
  139  prevent drivers from driving while distracted. The Department of
  140  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may use television messaging,
  141  radio broadcasts, print media, digital strategies, social media,
  142  and any other form of messaging deemed necessary and appropriate
  143  by the department to implement the campaign.
  144         (2) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may
  145  contract with counties, local law enforcement agencies, safety
  146  councils, and public schools to assist with planning and
  147  conducting the statewide driving while distracted safety and
  148  public awareness campaign in a manner that encourages compliance
  149  with s. 316.305, Florida Statutes.
  150         Section 3. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  151  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2019.