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Senator seeks to toughen texting-while-driving law

VIDEO: We ride along with our Crime Analyst, watching as drivers text on the road. Why he says it'll take a while for the new law to make a difference.
VIDEO: We ride along with our Crime Analyst, watching as drivers text on the road. Why he says it'll take a while for the new law to make a difference.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida's texting-while-driving ban would be strengthened under a proposal filed Tuesday by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, for the 2016 legislative session.

The measure (SB 328) would make texting while driving a "primary" offense -- meaning police could pull over motorists who violate the ban.

Under current law, it is considered a "secondary" offense. That means motorists can only be cited for texting while driving if they are stopped for other reasons.

Past attempts to make texting while driving a primary offense have failed. Altman's measure goes further than a bill (HB 25) filed in August by Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston, that would toughen penalties for motorists who text while driving in school zones or at school crossings.

Stark's bill calls for doubling fines for motorists who violate the texting-while-driving ban in the designated school areas.