Pull Drivers Over For Texting, Jacksonville Council Considers Telling State

Aug 23, 2017

Credit Lord Jim via Flickr

The Jacksonville City Council is considering sending a resolution to state lawmakers asking them to make texting while driving a primary offense.

Currently, Florida drivers can be ticketed for texting only after being pulled over for something else, like speeding.

At-large city Councilman Tommy Hazouri is one of the co-sponsors of the measure. He said it was introduced at the behest of state Rep. Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville).

“Many cities have already begun passing resolutions in their county commissions or their city councils," Hazouri said, "sending them to the legislative bodies and to the governor asking them to move forward to pass this legislation.”

Hazouri said he expects unanimous support when council members vote on the resolution at their Sept. 12 meeting.

“We want to slow down the deaths. We want to certainly slow down the distractions that create crashes and, ultimately, in many cases, fatalities on the highway," Hazouri said. 

Making texting a primary offense would let police stop and ticket drivers they see tapping away on their cell phones while behind the wheel of a car.

According to the resolution, of the 47 states that have banned texting while driving, it remains a secondary offense only in Florida and three others.

Photo used under Creative Commons license. 

Contact Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.