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Rep. Emily Slosberg seeks to keep Florida drivers' hands off their phones

Boca Raton lawmaker sponsors bill that would make it illegal for anyone 'holding or touching' wireless device while driving
Emily Slosberg stands near roadside memorial of Dori Slosberg, Dec. 22, 2020
Posted at 4:19 PM, Dec 22, 2020

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A South Florida lawmaker who successfully fought to ban texting while driving now wants to make all drivers in the state fully "hands free."

State Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, on Friday introduced a bill (HB 91) for the 2021 legislative session that would make it illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle "while holding or touching a wireless communications device."

The bill would expand upon the law that took effect earlier this year, making texting while driving a primary offense and allowing law enforcement to pull over drivers who violate the law.

Slosberg's sister, Dori, died in a 1996 crash that also claimed the lives of four others. Slosberg was in the car but survived the crash.

"The Dori Slosberg hands-free driving law would make the state of Florida, essentially, hands free," Slosberg told WPTV in an interview Tuesday.

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW:

Emily Slosberg determined 'to change the future' with hands-free driving law

Because of Slosberg's previous legislation, driving while holding or touching a wireless communications device is already illegal in school and construction zones.

"Cellphones are now the No. 1 cause of distraction for drivers," Slosberg said.

If the bill becomes law, it would take effect in October.

"We need legislation that allows us to ban it and to stop it," Slosberg said.

A similar bill sponsored by Slosberg died in a subcommittee last year.

Slosberg said she believes she has bipartisan support for her latest bill.

"I can't do anything about the past, but I can do everything to change the future and make sure others don't go through what I went through," Slosberg said.