In Florida, texting while driving is already illegal. However, a violation of the texting-while-driving law is currently only a secondary offense. Starting Monday, July 1, 2019, this violation becomes a primary offense.
When it was only a secondary offense, officers would not have pulled a driver over solely for texting while driving. The officer would have only been able to issue a citation for texting while driving if the officer saw you committing a primary offense, an offense for which you can be stopped for first.
However, this law is about to change on Monday, July 1, 2019. Starting Monday, an update to the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” goes into effect. Under this new law, texting while driving becomes a primary offense.
Understanding Florida’s New Distracted Driving Law
What does this mean? This means that if an officer sees you texting while driving, the officer can immediately pull you over, without having seen you commit a separate, primary-offense traffic violation. It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities on the road, and here’s a breakdown of what you can and can’t do under this new Florida driving law:
What You Cannot Do:
- Text while stuck in traffic = NO
- Text at a stop sign = NO
- Use social media on your phone = NO
- Play games on your phone = NO
In addition to making texting while driving a primary offense, this new law also prohibits using a cellphone or any other handheld wireless device in school zones and construction zones.
What You Can Do:
- Select a song to play = YES
- Use GPS from your phone = YES
- Receive a text = YES
- Answer a phone call = YES
The texting-and-driving bill was signed into law on May 17, 2019, by Gov. Ron Desantis and will go into effect starting July 1, 2019. Learn more about this driving update online now.