October 27, 2020
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CS/HB 41

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to use of wireless communications devices
3while driving; creating s. 316.305, F.S.; creating the
4"Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law"; providing
5legislative intent; prohibiting the operation of a motor
6vehicle while using a wireless communications device for
7certain purposes; providing a definition; providing
8exceptions; specifying information admissible as evidence
9of a violation; providing penalties; providing for
10enforcement as a secondary action; amending s. 322.27,
11F.S.; providing for points to be assessed against a
12driver's license for the unlawful use of a wireless
13communications device resulting in a crash; providing an
14effective date.
16Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
18     Section 1.  Section 316.305, Florida Statutes, is created
19to read:
20     316.305  Wireless communications devices; prohibition.-
21     (1)  This section may be cited as the "Florida Ban on
22Texting While Driving Law."
23     (2)  It is the intent of the Legislature to:
24     (a)  Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators,
25vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road
27     (b)  Prevent crashes related to the act of text messaging
28while driving a motor vehicle.
29     (c)  Reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care
30costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates
31related to motor vehicle crashes.
32     (d)  Authorize law enforcement officers to stop motor
33vehicles and issue citations to persons texting while driving as
34a secondary offense.
35     (3)(a)  A person shall not operate a motor vehicle while
36manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols,
37or other characters into a wireless communications device or
38while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose
39of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not
40limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing,
41and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term
42"wireless communications device" means any device that is
43designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-
44based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet
45or any communications service as defined in s. 812.15 and that
46allows text communications. For purposes of this section, a
47motor vehicle that is legally parked is not being operated and
48is not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.
49     (b)  This subsection does not apply to a motor vehicle
50operator who is:
51     1.  Performing official duties as an operator of an
52authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law
53enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency
54medical services professional.
55     2.  Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious
56activity to law enforcement authorities.
57     3.  Receiving messages that are:
58     a.  Related to the operation or navigation of the motor
60     b.  Safety-related information, including emergency,
61traffic, or weather alerts;
62     c.  Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or
63     d.  Radio broadcasts.
64     4.  Using a device or system for navigation purposes.
65     5.  Conducting wireless interpersonal communication that
66does not require manual entry of multiple letters, numbers, or
67symbols or reading text messages, except to activate,
68deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.
69     (c)  A user's billing records for a wireless communications
70device or the testimony of or written statements from
71appropriate authorities receiving such messages may be
72admissible as evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a
73violation of this section has been committed.
74     (4)(a)  Any person who violates subsection (3) commits a
75noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving
76violation as provided in chapter 318.
77     (b)  Any person who commits a second or subsequent
78violation of subsection (3) within 5 years after the date of a
79prior conviction for a violation of subsection (3) commits a
80noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation
81as provided in chapter 318.
82     (5)  Enforcement of this section by state or local law
83enforcement agencies must be accomplished only as a secondary
84action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for
85a suspected violation of another section of this chapter,
86chapter 320, or chapter 322.
87     Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section
88322.27, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
89     322.27  Authority of department to suspend or revoke
91     (3)  There is established a point system for evaluation of
92convictions of violations of motor vehicle laws or ordinances,
93and violations of applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b) when
94such violations involve the use of motor vehicles, for the
95determination of the continuing qualification of any person to
96operate a motor vehicle. The department is authorized to suspend
97the license of any person upon showing of its records or other
98good and sufficient evidence that the licensee has been
99convicted of violation of motor vehicle laws or ordinances, or
100applicable provisions of s. 403.413(6)(b), amounting to 12 or
101more points as determined by the point system. The suspension
102shall be for a period of not more than 1 year.
103     (d)  The point system shall have as its basic element a
104graduated scale of points assigning relative values to
105convictions of the following violations:
106     1.  Reckless driving, willful and wanton-4 points.
107     2.  Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property
108damage of more than $50-6 points.
109     3.  Unlawful speed, or unlawful use of a wireless
110communications device, resulting in a crash-6 points.
111     4.  Passing a stopped school bus-4 points.
112     5.  Unlawful speed:
113     a.  Not in excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted
114speed-3 points.
115     b.  In excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted
116speed-4 points.
117     6.  A violation of a traffic control signal device as
118provided in s. 316.074(1) or s. 316.075(1)(c)1.-4 points.
119     7.  All other moving violations (including parking on a
120highway outside the limits of a municipality)-3 points. However,
121no points shall be imposed for a violation of s. 316.0741 or s.
123     8.  Any moving violation covered in this paragraph above,
124excluding unlawful speed and unlawful use of a wireless
125communications device, resulting in a crash-4 points.
126     9.  Any conviction under s. 403.413(6)(b)-3 points.
127     10.  Any conviction under s. 316.0775(2)-4 points.
128     Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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