Senator Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, filed State Bill (SB) 246 September 9, which will double the penalty of drivers who speeds in school zone or crossing.
SB 246 will have drivers rethink texting in a school zone, they can face increased penalties. The current penalty for first violations is $30.
The bill would no longer allow law enforcement to issue citations as a secondary offense
Lincoln High School principal, Allen Burch, is in favor of the bill.
“Having our legislators get behind the idea of something so dangerous, really taking your eyes off the road is a really positive thing,” Burch said. “Texting and driving is a serious thing and it should be addressed. It starts at home with the parents. The parents have to educate their kids about safety behind the wheel and they have to model it.”
Burch said that due to the location of Lincoln High School, speeding is not a high concern because the school is located away from major roads and has multiple turns.
Chief of Police Terence M. Calloway, at Florida A&M University, also supports SB 246. Calloway urges stricter penalties.
“I think this new bill is very encouraging,” Calloway said. “You have more accidents from people texting now than ever before. The only way you get people to understand and realize this is very serious is to increase the consequences.”
Kyle Schaefer, a music education graduate student at Florida State University, thinks the bill is a great idea.
“I don’t understand why people text and drive in a school zone. You have kids ranging from preschool age to 18 years old. Do you really want to end a kid life, because someone asked you what you’re doing later?” said Schaefer.
The bill is set to go into effect Oct. 1, 2016.
Those interested in learning more about the bill can visit https://www.flsenate.gov/.