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New Texting And Driving Laws For Florida Drivers

Have you ever seen a driver drift or veer into your lane on the highway as they scroll through their cell phone? Or perhaps you’ve been guilty of this yourself (let’s be honest, we’ve all done it at some point). Not only is texting while driving extremely dangerous, it’s also been illegal in the state of Florida since 2013. Recently, a new Florida law has come into effect strengthening the texting while driving ban and changing how drivers are allowed to use their cell phones. Read on to learn more about the new texting and driving laws Florida has enacted. 

2021 Florida Texting And Driving Laws

Signed into effect in 2019, the new Florida laws make texting while driving a primary offense. Texting while driving used to be considered a secondary offense in Florida, which meant that officers were only able to issue a citation if there was another reason to pull them over, such as swerving or speeding. Florida became the 45th state in 2019 to make texting while driving a primary offense. This means officers have the right to pull drivers over solely for texting and driving, without needing any other traffic violation. Some other regulations to consider:

  • No hand-held phones in school and work zones: Under the new 2019 laws, Florida drivers are not allowed to have cell phones in their hands in school or work zones. This means that when driving in these zones, drivers cannot type anything on a screen, hold a phone up to their ear, or hold the phone up to read their GPS. If law enforcement spots a driver breaking this law, they may issue a citation. For the law to apply, the work zone must be “active,” meaning that workers must be present.
  • GPS: Phone GPSs can be used, as long as you’re not typing or holding your phone.
  • Hands-Free Calls: Florida drivers can talk on their phones in an active school or work zone, but must use a hands-free setting. Earbuds can only be used in a single ear at a time.

Enforcing The New Laws

The first violation of the new regulations will result in a $30 fine, and doesn’t go on your driving record, so there are no points filed against your license. If there is a second violation within a five year period, it will be considered a moving violation, with a fine between $60-100, and get three points against your license. This is the same amount of points you can get food driving up to 15 miles above the speed limit, and stays on your Florida license for three years. Officers have to physically spot you texting while driving, unless you explicitly give them permission to go through your phone. Remember that officers cannot check your phone unless they have a search warrant.

Contact Us Today

If you are the victim of distracted driving in Florida, your best course of action is to seek legal counsel in determining your next steps. BCN Law Firm is a top Florida law firm offering assistance to victims of distracted driving. Call BCN Law Firm in Clermont to schedule an appointment today!