Florida Senate - 2010 CS for SB 324
By the Committee on Transportation; and Senator Baker
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to motor vehicle operators; amending
3 s. 316.304, F.S.; prohibiting a person younger than 18
4 years of age from writing or sending a text message on
5 an electronic communications device while operating a
6 motor vehicle; providing for enforcement; providing
7 exceptions; providing penalties; providing an
8 effective date.
10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
12 Section 1. Section 316.304, Florida Statutes, is amended to
14 316.304 Using listening or communications devices
15 of headsets.—
16 (1)(a) A No person may not shall operate a vehicle while
17 wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other
18 than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of
19 defective human hearing.
20 (b) (2) This subsection section does not apply to:
21 1. (a) Any law enforcement officer equipped with any
22 communication device necessary in performing his or her assigned
23 duties or to any emergency vehicle operator equipped with any
24 ear protection device.
25 2. (b) Any applicant for a license to operate a motorcycle
26 while taking the examination required by s. 322.12(5).
27 3. (c) Any person operating a motorcycle who is using a
28 headset that is installed in a helmet and worn so as to prevent
29 the speakers from making direct contact with the user’s ears so
30 that the user can hear surrounding sounds.
31 4. (d) Any person using a headset in conjunction with a
32 cellular telephone that only provides sound through only one ear
33 and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.
34 5. (e) Any person using a headset in conjunction with
35 communicating with the central base operation that only provides
36 sound through only one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be
37 heard with the other ear.
38 (c) (3) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
39 shall adopt promulgate, by administrative rule , standards and
40 specifications for headset equipment the use of which is
41 permitted under this subsection section. The department shall
42 inspect and review all such devices submitted to it and shall
43 publish a list by name and type of approved equipment.
44 (d) (4) A violation of this subsection section is a
45 noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving
46 violation as provided in chapter 318.
47 (2)(a) A person younger than 18 years of age may not
48 operate a motor vehicle while using an electronic communications
49 device in order to write or send text-based communications,
50 including text messages, instant messages, or electronic mail.
51 (b) It is not a violation of this subsection to read,
52 select, or enter a telephone number or name in an electronic
53 communications device in order to make or receive a telephone
55 (c) This subsection does not apply to a person who writes a
56 text message on an electronic communications device in order to:
57 1. Report illegal activity;
58 2. Summon medical or other emergency help; or
59 3. Prevent injury or damage to a person or property.
60 (d) A violation of this subsection is a noncriminal traffic
61 infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in
62 chapter 318.
63 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.