If you’re thinking about texting while driving you may want to rethink it. On July 1st a new bill will take effect – allowing the police to stop you and ticket you for driving and texting. It has been illegal to be Texting and driving in Florida for years – however, the police have been unable to enforce it because texting wasn’t a primary basis for a traffic stop. Now, however, the police can stop you if they see you using your phone while driving or have a reasonable articulable suspicion that’s what you’re doing.
And, of course, texting doesn’t just mean texting. You can be stopped for messaging, emailing, or any general typing on your phone. You are allowed to use your phone while stopped – but you’d better put it down before you return to motion.
You’ll be charged $30 for the first infraction and $60 for the second. There will also be 3 points added to your license.
This law means more than just a $30 ticket. What it really means is that the police have an additional reason to pull you over. Once police contact has been initiated, you run the risk of charges for anything the police see in the car, or for a warrant, or even driving under the influence. An officer that stops you for texting now has a reason to move forward with a traffic stop. And a traffic stop always has the potential to lead to your arrest.