Texting while driving has remained one of the primary hazards on the road. With the popularity of technology gaining momentum every day, it seems as if cell phones will continue on as a distraction. But Florida has been one of the few states left to not yet implement harsher laws concerning phone usage on the road! Many already assume texting while driving is illegal, but this is not exactly true. 

Florida did, in fact, become the 41st state to label texting while driving as illegal--but only as a secondary offense. This means that drivers cannot be pulled over solely for the fact that they were spotted texting on the road. Police have to first notice the driver committing a more serious offense and only then can they list texting while driving as an additional offense. BUT, this new law has finally has made texting while driving a FIRST offense! No longer is Florida lagging behind; we are taking a stand against distracted drivers. 




But Wait... What Does This Mean?

The penalty for breaking this new law is a $30 fine for first-time violators while second-time violators face a $60 fine. We all are still safe to use our phones at stoplights, for the law states that phone usage is allowed in a "stationary vehicle". So if you're one to check your cell at red lights, don't sweat it--that's still okay. Using hands-free devices to talk on the phone is also still perfectly legal as well as being the safer choice in general. 

I think we can all agree this law was a smart step to lead towards an all-around safer Florida. If you're wondering when this law will take effect, the state decided to give drivers a grace period and implement the ticketing starting January of 2020. (Update: it begins July 1st, 2019)

We still have some time left to break our bad habits and get used to phone-free roads! 


Wade B. Coye
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Attorney/Author Wade Coye - serving consumers legal needs for over 27 years
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