Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the upgraded anti-distracted driving bill into law on Friday, March 17, at Sarasota High School. The new law goes into effect July 1, and it allows police to stop and ticket drivers for texting while they’re behind the wheel of a moving car, with limited exceptions. See: Governor signs bill: Texting while driving will soon get you pulled over in Florida, by Lawrence Mower, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau, 5/17/2019.
Drivers will still be able to use their phone while their car is stopped.
Statement from Mark Merwitzer: I am beyond joyed to attend today's bill signing ceremony for HB 107, this year's bill to make texting while driving a primary offense and ban handheld cellphone use while driving in a school and work zone. I sincerely and wholeheartedly thank Governor DeSantis for signing my copy of the bill, and taking a picture with me. It will be a momento to hang on my wall forever. Three years of hard work, going to Tallahassee more times than I can count, and rallying local support has finally payed off. I remember when I first started, I got a very condescending phone call from the biggest lobbyist in Florida, Ron Book, telling me I am never going to make it and stop. Glad I did not listen to him because he is in jail for a vehicle related incident and I was at a bill signing ceremony. Do not let other people tell what you can or cannot accomplish. Always shoot for the moon. Thank you to everyone who supported me including my parents, Representative Toledo, Representative Slosberg, Senator Perry, Senator Simpson, Representative Stark, the Wanninkhof family, Mayor Flinn, Mayor Lerner, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Senator Diaz de la Portilla, School for Advanced Studies, and so many more people. This is only the beginning, I plan to shoot beyond the moon in the future.
CLICK HERE to view prior related posts relating to efforts on the anti-distracted driving legislation as well as specific to Mark Merwitzer. Mark has been hard at work appearing over the many years before the Florida Legislature to enact life safety legislation relating to distracted driving. Great work Mark. Your efforts will go a long way to make travel on our roads much safer.
Photo above right - Mark Merwitzer with Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez