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Bill would toughen ban on texting while driving

You could get a ticket just for texting while driving, if a new bill in Florida becomes law. Right now texting while driving is considered a secondary offense, meaning police have to pull you over for something else first.
   
By now, many of us know texting while driving is extremely dangerous.
But, would a tougher law stop people from doing it?

Reporter Joe Douglass: "Do you text while driving?"
Andrea Carpio, Driver: "Um, yeah, sometimes."
Jade Reaves, Driver: "I do sometimes. I know I shouldn't."

Clifford Judd, Driver: "I don't do it. My son doesn't...We just don't do it."
   
Drivers we spoke with were all for the bill filed by State Senator Maria Sachs of Delray Beach.
   
It would make texting while driving a primary offense.  Meaning that alone would be enough to get you a ticket.

Reporter: "Do you think if the law was toughened up it would probably keep you from doing it?"
Andrea Carpio, Driver: "Oh yeah, absolutely."

Jade Reaves, Driver: "Yeah, I think so. I mean, I'm originally from Massachusetts and it's already a law in Massachusetts and so...When I was driving up there it definitely kept from texting more."

A 2010 study by the highway loss data institute found that bans on texting while driving did not reduce car crashes and in some places actually increased the number of accidents.
   
The U.S. Department of Transportation disputed that report.
Texting while driving, meanwhile, is six times more likely to cause a death than a DUI.

Jade Reaves, Driver: "You're not watching the road. You're not watching what you're doing if your texting."

Clifford Judd, Driver: "You can pull over. Most of the stuff people are texting about...It can wait."

Under the new legislation, the penalties for texting while driving would stay the same - 30 dollars for the first violation, and more if you keep getting cited.

A final decision on the bill will made during Florida's next legislative session, which begins in March of 2014.