Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed an anti-texting-while-driving bill into law. After a stall in the Florida Senate, the law was finally approved, delaying was originally supposed to go into effect in October of last year.
The law will officially go into effect on July 1st as a primary offense, meaning an offender can be pulled over for texting in and of itself. However, only warnings will be issued through the end of the year.
This will apply only to vehicles in motion.
What the texting bill doesn’t cover.
- Navigation devices.
- Stopped vehicles. Texting while sitting at a light or in a parking lot is still not illegal.
Navigation devices will also banned in construction zones.
The penalties are still relatively light–as long as it’s your first offense.
- $30 fine for a first offense.
- $60 fine for a second offense, plus three points on your driver’s license, which will affect an offender’s insurance rates.
For police to prove text usage, they would have to search a driver’s phone for their latest used apps to determine if a driver was texting. Offenders have the right to decline an officer’s search, and officers have to notify the driver of that beforehand.