Texting while driving? Expect police to pull you over.

Florida drivers can now anticipate tougher texting and driving laws to take effect. Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that tightens our current states laws. While texting while driving is already illegal to do in Florida, it is rarely enforced. That will soon change.

Starting July 1, 2019, drivers may receive tickets for texting while driving. Prior to this, officers had to pull you over for another violation before issuing a ticket for texting behind the wheel. In school and work zones, drivers will not be able use their phones – not even for making calls or navigating – unless it is an absolute emergency. That provision takes effect on October 1st of this year. Texting within a school or work zone may result in points on your license on the first offense.

The law has been passed with important provisions to note. First, police must record the race and ethnicity of each driver they ticket for texting while driving. Afterward, that information must be provided to the state to determine if the law is being enforced appropriately and evenly. Second, police officers must disclose that drivers have a right to decline a search of their cell phone.

As long as the car is moving, put the phone down. Many clients call us because they were hit by a driver who was texting. We represent those injured by distracted drivers. If you were hurt by someone who wasn’t paying attention to the road, call 888-783-8378.