The law titled CS/HB 107 – Wireless Communications While Driving goes into effect in Florida on July 1, 2019.
The law provides that Police Officers will be given the authority to pull over drivers who use a cell phone in a handheld manner while driving.
The law further states that Officers shall “record the race and ethnicity of a violator when issuing a citation.”
My concern is that this law will give Officers grounds to pull over anyone who they see using a cell phone while driving.
Once someone is pulled over, the Officer can investigate anything else that they find suspicious about the driver or whats inside the car.
Moreover, this law will give police officers a viable defense for every traffic stop.
The law also says that police officers must record the race and ethnicity of everyone they stop for texting and driving.
I assume that the State will require officers to record the race and ethnicity of violators to collect data and make sure that the law is not being enforced unfairly against minorities.
The law may reduce texting and driving, but it is also going to result in more traffic stops, some of which may be pre-text to conducting a more thorough investigation of drivers and their vehicles.