Sexting Your Girlfriend While Stuck in Traffic May Soon Be Illegal
|State Senator Evelyn Lynn (Republican) wants to protect us from our text-message-addicted selves|
Lynn's recently introduced Senate Bill 80 would ban "text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, or paging, while operating a motor vehicle on a street or highway."
While we're sure that Lynn's intentions are good -- recent studies show texting while driving is dangerous -- isn't it a little onerous to outlaw all email or texting, even if you're stuck in a traffic jam and rescheduling your midnight ménage?
Lynn could not be reached for comment. Here is the meat of the bill:
(1) A person may not use an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication, including text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, or paging, while operating a motor vehicle on a street or highway, as defined in s.316.003(53), Florida Statutes.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to:
(a) A law enforcement officer or emergency medical services personnel in the performance of their official duties; or
(b) A person using such device to:
1. Report illegal activities;
2. Summon medical or other emergency help; or
3. Prevent injury or damage to a person or property.
(3) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable by a fine of $100 for each offense.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.
That's right: $100 per text message -- assuming you're caught, of course.
It's not clear yet what type of support the bill has in the new, super Republican state legislature. Governor-elect Rick Scott has said he's open to cracking down on driving distractions, but may not favor an outright ban.
The fine seems a little steep, but then again, maybe you can tell the cops you were just "preventing personal injury" by returning your girlfriend's text.