Texting while driving ban set to start in Florida



CENTRAL FLORIDA - Get ready to put down your cellphone when you're behind the wheel.

Gov. Rick Scott is set to sign a no-texting bill tomorrow, and while the law carries penalties, Channel 9's Racquel Asa looked at other states' texting laws and found Florida's will be one of the most lenient.

Florida will be the 46th state in the country to get a no-texting bill on the books.

"There's too many accidents and there's too many people dying. I just love the idea," said area resident Reina Acevedo.

Proving that a driver was texting while driving will be a challenge for law enforcement officers. According to officials, most of the time when people text while driving, it's with the phone down close to the driver's lap, where it's hidden just below the window.

Police would also have to stop you for something else, like speeding or not wearing your seat belt, before giving you the $30 ticket.

"Oh, that's the catch. There shouldn't be a catch," Acevedo said when told about the challenges facing police.

"It's stupid. They should do it as a primary offense. I don't know why it's lost on everyone else," said driver Bob Nordling.

Forty-four states consider texting while driving a primary offense. Thirty-six states have higher fines for it than Florida.

Only Iowa has a penalty similar to the one Florida will impose, and insurance companies consider Iowa's law one of the most lenient laws in the country.

Diamond Acevedo paid a ticket for not wearing her seat belt last year and thinks the fines should be equal.

"I had to pay $114 and I almost got my license suspended, if I wasn't going to pay it, so $30, that's nothing," said Acevedo.

Those ticketed a second time for texting while they drive will pay $60 and will have points added to their license.