|Published:||Nov 20, 2012 10:42 PM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 20, 2012 11:23 PM EST|
NAPLES, Fla - Florida lawmakers made a move Tuesday to ban texting while driving. Senate Bill 52 would make the offense a "secondary offense." That means you can only get a ticket for texting and driving if you're stopped for something else, like speeding.
45 states have some sort of texting and driving law. Florida has tried before to pass one, but so far they have been unsuccessful.
That means drivers like 22-year-old Michael Maguire are free to text and drive. "Yes I do and I know I'm not supposed to and I try not to, but still you see your phone going off, you want to answer it."
Tuesday Senate Bill 52 was filed by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice. If a driver is caught texting and driving in a secondary manner, the fine would be just $30.
Drivers we talked to admit, that isn't enough for them to put their phones down.
"That's not a lot at all. It's not going to have a serious affect on anyone. Kids do it all the time, parents do it all the time," says FGCU student Mason Andersen, 18.
Maguire says, "maybe if it was $50-$100 fine I could see more people putting their phone down, but $30 I can see a lot of people going, it's $30 and it doesn't matter."
Other states like Iowa and Nebraska have had secondary texting and driving laws since 2010, just like the one proposed in Florida. But, statistics show the law hasn't helped curb the problem. Some lawmakers in those states are trying to propose a primary law, which would allow law enforcement to pull you over specifically if they see you texting and driving.
That primary law seems to be working in New York where the penalty is a $150 fine and two points on your driving record. Drivers must also use a hands free device when on the phone.
"We should be like New York and have it completely illegal," says Daniel Payne, a student at Naples High School.
Alexander D'Angelo agrees, "I think if they started cracking down and got serious it would definitely make a difference."
Under the proposed Florida legistlation drivers would still be able to use maps on their phones and you could also use hands-free voice recognition to send text messages or emails.
Lawmakers will be in full session in March, but bills can be filed now and committee meetings on proposed legislation start Dec. 3.
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