Florida Lawmakers Poised to Ban Texting While Driving, "OMFG GTFO" Say Teenagers

Yesterday the Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill to ban texting while driving. The vote makes it pretty damn likely that the Sunshine State will join 39 others in curbing your right to type witty quips while steering with your crotch.

For you teenagers out there who need a translation: GOTDPWYD or guvment gona FU 4 realz.

Then again, the legislation would make texting while driving only a secondary offense, meaning you'd have to get pulled over for something else first. GTFO.


Similar legislation has been proposed in Tallahassee since 2008, but former House Speaker Dean Cannon blocked it. With Cannon gone and the bill already sailing through the Senate, the House could pass the ban this week.

The Senate version, put forward by Republican Nancy Detert, would still allow drivers to text at red lights or on the side of the road.

The ban is backed by something called the FL DNT TXT+DRIVE COALITION, which includes the AAA motor club, the Florida Parent Teacher Association, medical and insurance associations, and law enforcement agencies.

Because texting while driving would become a secondary offense under the ban, cops could ticket you only for texting if they pulled you over for something else, such as swerving in and out of your lane while sending "RU/18?" to that special someone you met last night online.

Violators would face a $30 fine the first time and $60 plus three points on a driver's license for the second offense. Twelve points in as many months would mean a 30-day suspension.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.