Texting while driving ban hard to enforce
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New legislation signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott that bans texting while driving might be hard to enforce.
The new law, effective Oct. 1, will be considered a secondary offense... which means officers must pull you over for doing something else illegally.
"For it to be a secondary offense, the law doesn't have very many teeth in it," said Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson -- a former police officer. "Simply because they have to commit something else in order to be stopped, so they will have to either have no seat belt on, run a red light, a stop sign, speeding, in addition to texting."
We found a few folks that certainly looked like they were texting while driving off Atlantic Boulevard. Jefferson pointed out a woman driving a green Saturn.
"She's still looking down, still texting. She hasn't committed a primary offense per-say so I can't stop her, because I have no probable cause," Jefferson said.
We continued to follow her, and then within seconds, another driver crosses into the Saturn's lane. The driver swerves to miss the collision.
"Look at that, you just saw what could happen. There was almost a crash right in front of us. I don't know if this person is still texting and driving, but you almost saw a crash." said Jefferson.
Jefferson says a texter deep in thought may not have been as alert. He says in a situation like this -- the near accident -- would be considered a primary offense, and be enough probable cause to pull both drivers over. If they were found texting they could be issued a $30 ticket.
The law allows exceptions You can text while sitting at a red light, and you can use a GPS navigation device or talk-to-text technology, but Jefferson says even that feature can be dangerous.
"Let's say I voice my text, I still have to look down to press the button twice to send it."
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