Governor set to sign texting ban into law - FOX 13 News

Governor set to sign texting ban into law

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A bill banning texting while driving will be signed into law following the Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday.

The law, which will go into effect Oct. 1, makes it illegal to text, email, or conduct any other kind of typing while a vehicle is moving; it also makes it illegal to read a text message. There are, however, instances during which the ban will not apply.

"It's only if your vehicle is in motion, so if you are at a red light it is technically legal to look down at your phone and text while driving," said Karen Morgan, AAA's Manager of Public Policy, adding that's still a dangerous idea. "Triple A wants to remind people, when you're on the road you want to be paying attention to what's going on around you and that means putting your phone down."

The law makes texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning drivers will have to be pulled over for such primary offenses as speeding or failing to maintain a lane in order to be ticketed for texting. A driver would receive a $30 fine for a first offense and a $60 fine and three points on his or her license for a second offense.

"It's a good first step in the right direction. We've been working over six years to have legislation banning this behavior," Morgan said.

Several drivers who spoke with FOX 13 News said the ban has been long-awaited and will make the roads safer.

"You can't keep your eye on the road if you're preoccupied with something else," said Ken Muller, a driver from Stuart. "We have a teenage driver and we pretty much tell her if she ever gets caught texting and driving, she loses her keys, so we try to set the example."

Gov. Scott will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Miami to sign the bill.

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