Posted on May 18, 2013

On May 1, 2013, an intersection accident in South Tampa occurred that involved a red light runner. According to witnesses, the driver who ran the red light didn’t appear to be paying attention. Unfortunately, she collided with a sports utility vehicle driven by Matthew Hall. According to a witness, it appeared the driver had her head down and was possibly texting or using her cell phone while driving.

This Tampa car accident involving distracted driving comes on the day that a last-minute amendment may cause the proposed texting ban law to be derailed. The proposed law was on a fast-track to Governor Rick Scott’s desk, but some say that politics may have gotten in the way.

Legislators are running out of time to get this law passed, and the last-minute amendment may put the brakes on this texting and driving law.  The new amendment would keep police officers from checking text messages on a person’s phone, except in the case of an accident involving injury or death.

Representative Jose Oliva (R-Miami) added this new change to the bill because he is concerned about civil liberties and wants to protect the public’s privacy. However, critics believe he added the amendment to get back at Senator Nancy Detert for taking a stand on the “parent trigger” bill, which got defeated. Detert is the sponsor of the texting and driving bill, causing many to believe this amendment is about politics.

If the bill passes, texting and driving would be a secondary offense.

Mallard Perez will keep our readers updated on the future of texting and driving laws in Florida.

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