You already know texting and driving is dangerous.
Beginning today, Florida drivers will be ticketed if caught, so it will be expensive, too.
When Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 107, it made texting and driving a primary offense. That means an officer who sees you doing it can pull you over and write you a citation.
There are enforcement issues – but do you want to take that chance?
In order to prove you were texting while driving, the officer needs to look at your phone. But the officer must inform you of your right to refuse to hand your phone over before that.
Here’s the exact text of the statute: “A law enforcement officer who stops a motor vehicle for a violation of paragraph (a) must inform the motor vehicle operator of his or her right to decline a search of his or her wireless communications device and may not access the wireless communications device without a warrant.”
There are also exceptions — you can use your phone for GPS or call 911 or other emergency services. You can also use your phone hands-free. The other exception is that you can text if your car is stopped, such as at a stop sign or red light.
While you’re getting used to the texting/driving ban, get ready for the October 1 portion of the same law to go into effect. It bans handheld phone use in school zones and active work zones. You’ll get a warning from October 1 through the end of the year, and starting January 1, 2020, you’ll get a ticket.
Our advice? Don’t text and drive. Distracted driving results in injury and death on the roads. If you or a loved one are injured due to another’s negligence contact Hicks & Motto at 561.683.2300.