Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 107 which will allow stricter enforcement of laws regarding wireless communication while driving. Texting while driving was already illegal in the state of Florida, however, it was very difficult for law enforcement officers to cite drivers for the offense. The bill which was signed on May 17, 2019 changes texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense and the law will take effect July 1, 2019. The problem with the law as it was originally written was that police officers couldn't pull over drivers for secondary offenses unless they were committing a primary offense such as speeding, reckless driving, or driving while intoxicated. As you might imagine, there were many drivers getting away with texting while driving due to the fact that they weren't pulled over since they were not committing a primary offense. The new bill will allow officers to pull you over drivers that are texting starting in July. There were no changes to the fines that can be imposed for texting while driving. The fine for the first offense remains at $30 and the second offense is $60. Court fees are additional. Navigation apps and calls made using bluetooth are still permitted.
The second revision to the bill addresses the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner in school crossings, school zones and work zones. Wireless communications device in a handheld manner are not permitted in any of these areas effective October 1, 2019. A wireless communications device includes cell phones, tablets, laptops, two-way messaging devices as well as handheld electronic games. Officers will begin issuing warnings starting October 1, 2019 through the end of the year then citations starting on January 1, 2020.
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Lori Keroack is the Business Office Manager of Mizner Residential Realty. Lori recently moved to Delray Beach from Connecticut. She is enjoying learning about her new home town and the surrounding areas by researching and blogging about various topics that are relevant to the area.
- Lori Keroack, Business Office Manager - Mizner Residential Realty