Texting while driving has been a controversial issue in Florida for years and the days of the sunshine state lagging behind most of the country seems to be over. Hopefully ignoring the fact that texting and driving kills more young drivers than drinking and driving will finally come to an end, so it’s time to put down our phones and concentrate on the road.
The Florida House voted on the amended House Bill 107, Monday afternoon, April 29, 2019, to approve a ban on texting and driving. The vote from the Florida House was the final obstacle needed before the legislation could head to Gov. Ron DeSantis and become a law.
This bill makes texting and driving a primary offense, meaning if you are caught typing on your phone while the vehicle is moving a police officer can pull you over. It also makes it illegal to hold or use your phone in construction or school zones, and element added to the bill by the Florida Senate and then approved by the Florida House.
If Govern Ron DeSantis signs the bill into law, motorists can be stopped and ticketed for texting while driving starting Jan. 1, 2020. Florida would join 43 other states that allow drivers to be pulled over for texting while driving.
A first violation of texting while driving carries a $30 fine, a second violation, it’s $60. And that’s just the fine. Court costs could take the price of any violation to more than $100, not to mention what insurance rates will do after an offense.
The new law does allow drivers to operate their phones, to get directions or for any other reason, in “a motor vehicle that is stationary,” but don’t make the mistake of talking on your phone in a school or construction zone unless you’re doing so with a hands-free device, because that will be against the law if Governor DeSantis signs the bill, which he is expected to do very soon.
Positively Osceola thanks the Florida Senate and House for making it possible for the governor to sign this life saving bill into law!