TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate is currently working on a bill
that may help alleviate accidents that occur because of texting and
The bill, known as Senate
Bill 144, seeks to reclassify texting and
driving as a primary offense for drivers who are not at least 18
years old, according to a news
release the law firm Hochman and Goldin, which
sponsored the bill.
law enforcement cannot issue citations for texting while driving
unless the offender was pulled over for another violation. If SB144
passes, police would have the authority to stop persons aged 18 and
younger simply for using a wireless device while operating a motor
vehicle. However, the bill would not have an effect on drivers of
legal age as law enforcement would still need a primary reason for
the traffic stop.
On March 7, according to flsenate.gov,
SB144 had passed through the senate's Communications, Energy and
Public Utilities Committee in a 6-1 vote. The bill then passed by the
chamber's Transportation Committee by a 5-0 vote on March 22.
As of March 23, the bill
was in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and
The bill aims to address the statistics associated with texting
and driving. According to the news release, in 2015 there were 4,300
crashes were because of distracted driving in Miami-Dade County
alone. Broward County experienced more than 3,500 such accidents.
Florida is among the handful of states that currently list
distracted driving as a secondary offense, the National Conference of
State Legislatures reported
on its website.
Hochman and Goldin is operated
by two University of Miami School of Law alumni, Scott Hochman and
Sunny Goldin, the firm specializes in traffic tickets and has worked
on more than 180,000 traffic citations in Miami-Dade and Broward
counties. The two attorneys have been in practice for more than 20