Tougher texting-while-driving penalties proposed in Florida

Representative wants minimum second-degree felony if driver who was texting kills someone


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida is just one of five states that doesn't allow police to pull you over if they see you texting while driving; you'd have to be speeding or doing something else.

Lawmakers got their first look at a proposal that would make penalties involving a crash tougher.

Other bills this year include prohibiting anyone under 18 from using any wireless device behind the wheel and also prohibiting anyone from using them in school zones.

Rep. Irv Slosberg has multiple proposals that would stiffen penalties. He wants to make it a minimum second-degree felony if a driver who was texting kills someone.

"Unfortunately as far as road safety goes in Florida, things move very slowly," Slosberg said. "I have to just be patient and persistent."

Rep. Dwight Dudley, who is also a criminal defense attorney, isn't sure the Legislation would stop people from taking their eyes off the road.

Multiple other bills will have the chance to amend texting-while-driving laws this legislative session. A proposal to move it up to a primary offense where you could be pulled over by a police officer is gaining traction.