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       Florida Senate - 2010                              CS for SB 324
       By the Committee on Transportation; and Senator Baker
       596-03646-10                                           2010324c1
    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
   13  read:
   14         316.304 Using listening or communications devices Wearing
   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
   54  call.
   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.

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