Support is building across Florida for a stronger texting-while-driving law, but some black legislators will fight the idea, claiming that it would invite more abuses by police.
A broad coalition of groups representing police, sheriffs, parents, retirees, doctors, businesses and others is mobilizing to pass a bill to elevate texting from a secondary to a primary offense, meaning police could ticket drivers who text, without needing another reason to stop them.
"It's time to strengthen the law," argues the FL DNT TXT N DRV Coalition. "Drivers who choose to text and drive are a danger not only to themselves, but to everyone else on the road."
The original 2013 Florida law made texting while driving subject to a $20 fine with no points assessed on a driver's record.
But as distracted driving crashes continue to rise steadily year after year, advocates say it's time to give police more enforcement power to reduce traffic injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving.