The -New- Florida Ban on Texting While Driving

By Amanda Roland

Starting July 1, a new and improved Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law will go into effect. As many of us know, texting and driving is very dangerous to both ourselves and other drivers around us. Under current Florida Law, a police officer can only cite you for texting and driving if they are pulling you over for another violation. For example, f you get pulled over for speeding and the officer also saw you texting while driving, he can cite you for both violations.)

What’s New?

The new Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law allows officers to pull you over solely for texting while driving. Also, this law will prohibit the use of wireless handheld devices in construction and school zones.

While the new Florida law will go into effect on July 1, only warnings will be given out until January 2020. After the start of the new year, officers can start writing citations.

From the House of Representatives Final Bill Analysis:

“Effective July 1, 2019, the bill changes enforcement of the existing texting while driving ban from a secondary offense to a primary offense. The bill does not change existing penalties and exceptions to the texting ban.”

“Effective October 1, 2019, the bill prohibits the use of a handheld wireless communications device while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or work zone area. From October 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, law enforcement officers may provide a verbal or written warning and beginning January 1, [2020], may issue a uniform traffic citation for a violation, which is punishable as a moving violation with three points assessed against the driver’s license.”