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Florida’s New No Texting While Driving Law

Texting while driving is one of the most common distracted driving habits. Florida’s new no texting while driving law took effect July 1, 2019, and law enforcement can now stop motorists that are caught texting and driving.

New Law

More than 50,000 distracted driving accidents take place in Florida each year and the ban has zero tolerance for the practice. Absolutely no texting is allowed while behind the wheel of any moving vehicle. The comprehensive law precludes motorists from typing in numbers, letters, symbols or other characters on a mobile device to communicate nonverbally with another.

The law includes texting, instant messaging and emails. Any texting by the driver, while the vehicle is moving, is in violation. Penalties for those determined to break the law begins at $30 for the first offense and counts as one point on the individual’s driver’s license. The fine is $60 for a second violation and will count as three points to the license if ticketed for the same reason within five years of the first violation.

First Offense

Florida’s ban moves the previously existing law from a secondary offense to a primary violation and allows police to pull a driver over and ticket them specifically for texting. Police can’t check a driver’s phone to see if they’ve been texting, but law enforcement is also trained in behaviors that indicate “hidden” texting. Emergency medical personnel, police, and firefighters are exempt from the law.

Keeping everyone safe

Drivers can still utilize navigational devices and talk on their phone, but beginning Oct. 1, 2019, another new law makes it illegal to do so in school and construction zones. The exception to the law is hands-free technology utilizing Bluetooth. The state’s governor has indicated that Florida is the second worst state for texting and driving, with 233 fatalities and nearly 390 injuries each year.

Digital communications have become a way of life for the majority of the U.S. population. It’s also become a primary cause of accidents, injuries and property damage. There truly are very few instances in which a message can’t wait until a driver is parked. The new law will help keep everyone safer.

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The Sena Group
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Boca Raton, FL 33487