3 things to know about proposed law to ban texting and driving

1) It would ban texting and driving in Florida.

House bill  45 would bar drivers from using hand-held cellphones to talk, though it would allow the use of hands-free devices. Texting while driving is currently prohibited in Florida, but it’s only a secondary offense, which means law enforcement has to pull a driver over for a different reason first.  This new bill would make texting while driving a primary offense.

2)The bill has been proposed before.

 Florida is one of only a handful of states that hasn’t made texting and driving a primary offense.  So it makes sense that lawmakers have tried to introduce this legislation before.

A nearly identical bill was introduced during the last legislative session, and it passed the state House by a 112-2 vote.  But the bill died before it reached the Senate floor and never left committee.

3)Why hasn’t it been passed yet?

Critics in the past have voice concerns that the law could be used to pull over minorities without a cause and be tougher on drivers with older cars that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities.

Some lawmakers also said their worried about privacy issues if a police officer wanted to scroll through a phone to verify recent use.

The new bill will get  another chance in the March legislative session.