texting while driving

Person texting while driving vehicle.
Airman Sadie Colbert / U.S. Air Force

Put your phone down while you are driving to avoid getting a ticket in Florida.

Starting Monday, law enforcement officers can pull motorists over solely for texting while driving, thanks to a new law passed by the Florida Legislature. Before, texting while driving was not a primary offense, meaning officers had to have another reason to stop a motorist to cite them for texting and driving.

Beginning in July, Florida police can pull over drivers they suspect of texting while driving. That’s according to a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday.

Texting While Driving Bill Goes To DeSantis

May 17, 2019

A bill that would toughen the state’s texting-while-driving law was formally sent Thursday to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has voiced support for the proposal.

The bill (HB 107), a compromise passed by the House and Senate in late April, would make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense on July 1.

However, the change would be phased in, according to the bill, with warnings issued starting Oct. 1 and tickets beginning Jan. 1.

‘Hands Free’ Plan Gets Senate Support

Apr 18, 2019
Remnants of a car wreck
News Service of Florida

Motorists could only use hands-free wireless devices while moving on Florida roads, under a Senate proposal approved Wednesday. 

Touching a cell phone while driving could soon be against Florida law. That's if a bill a Tampa lawmaker plans to introduce passes muster in the legislature.

The bill by Tampa Republican Jackie Toledo would mean law enforcement could pull you over just for being on your phone. Now, you have to have to be pulled over for another infraction first in order to be charged with texting while driving.

Toledo says accident death rates in Georgia have gone down by 25 percent after that state banned hands-on cellphone use in July.

Man in green van texts while he drives over a bridge.
Rcsprinter123 / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal that would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019. 

A bipartisan group of lawmakers embarked Tuesday on a road that has resulted in a dead end in the past: getting the House and Senate to make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense in Florida.

Slosberg Seeks Tougher Law On Texting While Driving

Jul 27, 2017
Tampa Bay Times

State Rep. Emily Slosberg appeared Tuesday night at a Boca Raton City Council meeting as she tries to build local-government support for the Legislature to make texting while driving a primary offense.

Halfway through the 2013 legislative session, many major issues have yet to be resolved, News Service of Florida reports. The thorniest may be the House and Senate disagreement on what to do about covering 1 million low-income uninsured in lieu of Medicaid expansion.

In the 2013 legislative session, which starts Tuesday, lawmakers will take a hard look at improving school security following the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary in December. Under the bill proposed by Republican Rep. Greg Steube of Sarasota, school principals could choose one or more staff members to be trained to carry a gun into school, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.