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Texting and driving to become a primary offense under new house bill

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - According to the Florida State House, Florida House Representatives filed a bill to make texting a primary offense on Wednesday morning. 

The ban was originally secondary and now it's primary ban. The bill will strengthen the ban on texting and messaging while driving. 

A first violation remains a non-moving violation that carries a $30 fine plus court costs, for a total fine of up to $108.

A second or subsequent violation committed within five years is a moving violation that carries a $60 fine plus court costs, for a total fine of up to $158. This will add three points to your driver's license record. 

If you crash due to a violation of the ban, you will have six points added to your license. 

The bill protects civil liberties by requiring a warrant to access a driver’s phone.

The bill will also require law enforcement officer to inform the driver of his or her right to decline a search of the phone. 

Upon filing of the bill Speaker Corcoran said, "Texting and driving presents a real, life-threatening danger to Floridians both on and off the road. The data is overwhelming and the need to act is equally compelling. We're proud to unveil a bill that does just that while also addressing legitimate civil liberties concerns."