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Governor to sign texting while driving bill

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Updated: 5/28/2013 3:12 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Shelia French's life will never be the same after someone texting while driving crashed into her vehicle nine years ago.

"He wasn't paying attention, and I was in the right," she said. "I was doing 45 mph, and he was coming this way and turned right in and ran me into a telephone poll," she said.

Nine years later, French is still recovering from severe injuries to her foot and can't stand for more than five minutes at a time.

"I had 17 surgeries," she said."I don't have any heel or ankle."

French hopes a new bill to be signed by Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday will protect other motorists. The legislation bans texting while driving.

"It's a good tool to keep people safe," said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Leeper knows his way around the beltway because he also used to work for the Florida Highway Patrol. He says he's seen far too many crashes caused by distracted driving.

He says police won't be able to pull you over specifically for typing and receiving messages behind the wheel. The ban will be enforceable as a secondary offense.

"You have to commit some other traffic offense before you can be cited for that," he said. "We see those who do text and drive speeding, driving too slow, weaving in and out of their lanes, driving too closely, just simply not paying attention to what they're doing," he said.

French says the new law isn't strict enough but she says it's a step in the right direction.

"Nothing is more important than driving safe," she said.

The law doesn't prohibit texting while at a red light or using talk-to-text features.

The fine for a first violation will be $30.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

1country - 5/28/2013 4:47 PM
0 Votes
Fred she's been the sauce again !!!

nativejax - 5/28/2013 1:39 PM
0 Votes
That same 'technology' is what you just USED to tell Steve Jobs to rot in h3ll! BAWAWAWAWWAWW..LMFAO

Fred Thompson - 5/28/2013 10:27 AM
0 Votes
This technoligy was a bad idea to have ever been invented. Rot in he.. Steve Jobs.

TOMMY - 5/28/2013 5:50 AM
0 Votes
Texting is not the only problem, what about a navagation screen, gps and i-pods. I was driving down the Southside Blvd and this dumb btch was putting makeup on and swerving her car all over the road. Make the fine $500.00 and watch this crap stop!

Realchange - 5/28/2013 12:24 AM
1 Vote
What about police officers using computers to run plates or other tasks? Who is going ticket them? Oh thats right they can do it and if something happens tough for the people then to get justice.
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