Florida governor signs bills addressing driving safety, WC fraud
The measure, called the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law, is modeled after a sample law created by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Specifically, the law will "prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other text in a wireless communication device, or sending or reading data in the device, for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication," according to a state analysis of the bill. There are some exceptions, for example, for emergency workers performing official duties.
The bill is enforceable as a secondary offense. First-time offenders will be subject to a $30 fine plus court costs while a second violation committed within five years of the first will incur a $60 fine plus court costs.
With the implementation of the measure, Florida will join 35 other jurisdictions with similar laws. The goal is to improve roadway safety, prevent crashes related to text messaging, and reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care costs, health insurance, and automobile insurance rates related to motor vehicle crashes.
Also signed by the governor was H.B. 217, which creates a new database and requires check cashers to provide certain information. A work group of regulators suggested the database as a way to address workers' comp premium fraud.
The database is to interface with the Secretary of State's database for verifying corporate registration records and with the Department of Financial Services' database for verifying workers' comp coverage. Any check over $1,000 must be logged by check cashers. They must also supply information such as the payor, payee, the fee charged, the type of identification presented, and the payee's workers' comp insurance policy number. The measure takes effect next month.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
July 8, 2013
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