Texting Ban an Important Step Toward Safer, More Age-Friendly State

For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2019

Contact:  Dave Bruns, AARP Florida, dbruns@aarp.org, 850.228.2759

TALLAHASSEE – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson welcomed passage of legislation allowing Florida law-enforcement officers to pull over drivers they see texting while driving as an important step toward making Florida safer for people of every age.

“AARP members in Florida have told us repeatedly that they’re worried about the dangers of distracted driving,” Johnson said. “We hope this legislation makes Florida roads safer for drivers of every age, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Earlier this week, the Florida Legislature gave overwhelming bipartisan approval to HB 107, which allows law-enforcement officers to stop motorists they see texting while driving.

Previously, state law banned texting while driving but the violation was legally a “secondary offense,” meaning that law enforcement officers had to have probable cause to believe that an additional violation had occurred before they could pull over a driver who was texting. The new legislation would make texting while driving a “primary offense,” allowing lawmakers to stop motorists anytime they see texting while driving.

The legislation also includes a provision requiring motorists to use only hands-free devices when driving in school or road work zones.  The legislation now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his consideration.

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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.