2013 Legislature       CS for CS for CS for SB 52, 1st Engrossed
    2         An act relating to the use of wireless communications
    3         devices while driving; creating s. 316.305, F.S.;
    4         creating the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving
    5         Law”; providing legislative intent; prohibiting the
    6         operation of a motor vehicle while using a wireless
    7         communications device for certain purposes; defining
    8         the term “wireless communications device”; providing
    9         exceptions; specifying information that is admissible
   10         as evidence of a violation; providing penalties;
   11         providing for enforcement as a secondary action;
   12         amending s. 322.27, F.S.; providing for points to be
   13         assessed against a driver license for the unlawful use
   14         of a wireless communications device within a school
   15         safety zone or resulting in a crash; providing an
   16         effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, is created to
   21  read:
   22         316.305 Wireless communications devices; prohibition.—
   23         (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Ban on
   24  Texting While Driving Law.”
   25         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature to:
   26         (a) Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
   27  vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
   28  users.
   29         (b) Prevent crashes related to the act of text messaging
   30  while driving a motor vehicle.
   31         (c) Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
   32  costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
   33  related to motor vehicle crashes.
   34         (d) Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
   35  vehicles and issue citations as a secondary offense to persons
   36  who are texting while driving.
   37         (3)(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle while
   38  manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols,
   39  or other characters into a wireless communications device or
   40  while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose
   41  of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not
   42  limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing,
   43  and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term
   44  “wireless communications device” means any handheld device used
   45  or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed
   46  or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based
   47  messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or
   48  any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that
   49  allows text communications. For the purposes of this paragraph,
   50  a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated and is
   51  not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.
   52         (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
   53  operator who is:
   54         1. Performing official duties as an operator of an
   55  authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
   56  enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
   57  medical services professional.
   58         2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
   59  activity to law enforcement authorities.
   60         3. Receiving messages that are:
   61         a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
   62  vehicle;
   63         b. Safety-related information, including emergency,
   64  traffic, or weather alerts;
   65         c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
   66         d. Radio broadcasts.
   67         4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
   68         5. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   69  does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or
   70  symbols, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature
   71  or function.
   72         6. Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
   73  does not require reading text messages, except to activate,
   74  deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
   75         7. Operating an autonomous vehicle, as defined in s.
   76  316.003, in autonomous mode.
   77         (c) Only in the event of a crash resulting in death or
   78  personal injury, a user’s billing records for a wireless
   79  communications device or the testimony of or written statements
   80  from appropriate authorities receiving such messages may be
   81  admissible as evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a
   82  violation of paragraph (a) has been committed.
   83         (4)(a) Any person who violates paragraph (3)(a) commits a
   84  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving
   85  violation as provided in chapter 318.
   86         (b) Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation
   87  of paragraph (3)(a) within 5 years after the date of a prior
   88  conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) commits a
   89  noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
   90  as provided in chapter 318.
   91         (5) Enforcement of this section by state or local law
   92  enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
   93  action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
   94  a suspected violation of another provision of this chapter,
   95  chapter 320, or chapter 322.
   96         Section 2. Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section
   97  322.27, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   98         322.27 Authority of department to suspend or revoke driver
   99  license or identification card.—
  100         (3) There is established a point system for evaluation of
  101  convictions of violations of motor vehicle laws or ordinances,
  102  and violations of applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b) when
  103  such violations involve the use of motor vehicles, for the
  104  determination of the continuing qualification of any person to
  105  operate a motor vehicle. The department is authorized to suspend
  106  the license of any person upon showing of its records or other
  107  good and sufficient evidence that the licensee has been
  108  convicted of violation of motor vehicle laws or ordinances, or
  109  applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b), amounting to 12 or
  110  more points as determined by the point system. The suspension
  111  shall be for a period of not more than 1 year.
  112         (d) The point system shall have as its basic element a
  113  graduated scale of points assigning relative values to
  114  convictions of the following violations:
  115         1. Reckless driving, willful and wanton—4 points.
  116         2. Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property
  117  damage of more than $50—6 points.
  118         3. Unlawful speed, or unlawful use of a wireless
  119  communications device, resulting in a crash—6 points.
  120         4. Passing a stopped school bus—4 points.
  121         5. Unlawful speed:
  122         a. Not in excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted
  123  speed—3 points.
  124         b. In excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted
  125  speed—4 points.
  126         6. A violation of a traffic control signal device as
  127  provided in s. 316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1.—4 points.
  128  However, no points shall be imposed for a violation of s.
  129  316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1. when a driver has failed to
  130  stop at a traffic signal and when enforced by a traffic
  131  infraction enforcement officer. In addition, a violation of s.
  132  316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1. when a driver has failed to
  133  stop at a traffic signal and when enforced by a traffic
  134  infraction enforcement officer may not be used for purposes of
  135  setting motor vehicle insurance rates.
  136         7. All other moving violations (including parking on a
  137  highway outside the limits of a municipality)—3 points. However,
  138  no points shall be imposed for a violation of s. 316.0741 or s.
  139  316.2065(11); and points shall be imposed for a violation of s.
  140  316.1001 only when imposed by the court after a hearing pursuant
  141  to s. 318.14(5).
  142         8. Any moving violation covered in this paragraph above,
  143  excluding unlawful speed and unlawful use of a wireless
  144  communications device, resulting in a crash—4 points.
  145         9. Any conviction under s. 403.413(6)(b)—3 points.
  146         10. Any conviction under s. 316.0775(2)—4 points.
  147         11. A moving violation covered in this paragraph which is
  148  committed in conjunction with the unlawful use of a wireless
  149  communications device within a school safety zone—2 points, in
  150  addition to the points assigned for the moving violation.
  151         Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2013.