TAMPA, Fla.AAA applauds the Florida Legislature for passing legislation to outlaw text messaging by all drivers. Senate Bill 52 by Senator Nancy Detert (R-Venice) creates the 'Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law,' which makes texting, emailing or instant messaging while driving a secondary offense. A first violation is a non-moving violation and a subsequent offense within a five-year period is a moving violation with fines and points assessed.

“By passing a law banning texting while driving, Florida continues the momentum in statehouses across the country to address this dangerous form of driver distraction,” said Kevin Bakewell, sr. vice president, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “In the last three years alone, more than half of all states have enacted text messaging bans for all drivers. AAA is encouraged by the recent and rapid progress toward our national campaign goal of passing texting bans in all 50 states.

“Too many people are being injured and killed in vehicle crashes that are preventable. In addition to legislation, education plays a key role in prevention and AAA will continue to focus significant resources on public education and awareness.”

When Governor Rick Scott signs the bill, Florida will become the 40th state to ban texting while driving. The law will become effective on October 1, 2013.

The Auto Club Group, the second largest affiliation of AAA clubs, offers travel, insurance and financial services to more than 8.8 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories.  This includes Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois, Minnesota and Tennessee; and a portion of Indiana.  The Auto Club Group belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada, whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.