Governor Signs Florida’s Tougher Texting And Driving Law

May 18, 2019

Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a tougher texting and driving ban.

The bill changes current enforcement of the ban from a secondary offense to a primary offense – enabling law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for texting while driving. Drivers will also be prohibited from using their handheld device while driving in active construction and school zones.

The law goes into effect July 1, but only warnings will be issued until January 1. The first violation of the ban is a non-moving violation, carrying a $30 base fine plus court costs and fees. A second or subsequent violation committed within five years is a moving violation, carrying a $60 base fine plus court costs and fees.

Florida becomes the 45th state to enact a primary enforcement text messaging ban for all drivers.

“Throughout our state, we’ve seen far too many accidents where passengers are killed or severely injured as a result of distracted drivers,” said DeSantis. “This bill gives law enforcement the ability to better enforce distractions behind the wheel. We cannot prevent all accidents on our roadways, but it is our hope that by taking action to address distractions today, we might be able to prevent a tragedy tomorrow.”

Pictured: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a tougher texting and driving law Friday at Sarasota High School. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

12 Responses to “Governor Signs Florida’s Tougher Texting And Driving Law”

  1. Niknak50 on May 20th, 2019 9:23 pm

    At this present time texting while driving has already put more people of all ages in the cemetery than drunk drivers in the last 50 years. Texting while driving is a horse that left the barn so long ago no amount of fine or penalty will change how society behaves now. Any legislation trying to get drivers to comply now will be about as effective as prohibition laws. In the time it took you to read this, another person has lost their life due to a cellphone. Sad.

  2. Yay more laws on May 19th, 2019 11:36 pm

    Yay! More laws! Protect me daddy government for I don’t know how to be personally responsible. I need more laws, I need more fines, I need more reasons for the police to stop me, I want more arrests, I love laws, I love the government, this is wonderful! clap clap clap clap clap clap! Yay! THey should add another zero or 2 at the end and make the fine 300 or 3000! Make it 3 million! That’s what you get! Yay more laws!!!

  3. Jack on May 19th, 2019 12:31 pm

    The Florida female population is going to be contributing to the state’s coffers, I drive for a living and it’s mostly women and young ladies texting and fooling with their phone while they’re driving.

  4. john on May 19th, 2019 9:10 am

    I don’t think we have to worry about getting pulled over around Escambia for texting while driving……as a matter of fact…..any driving infraction…..it is very seldom you see anyone pulled over by leos!

  5. nod on May 18th, 2019 12:44 pm

    Pencil, sounds like your lead is broken. We need protection from all distracted driving. The more the better. Only problem is it has no teeth.

  6. Anne on May 18th, 2019 10:39 am

    Glad to see the ban on texting and driving, have seen many instances of “almost” disasters by distracted drivers.
    Wondering though if this part includes using the phone functions, from the article above:
    “Drivers will also be prohibited from using their handheld device while driving in active construction and school zones.”
    Would someone holding a phone to talk while driving in a construction or school zone violate the new law?
    Guess the blue tooth function could take care of that though.
    Any thoughts on it though?

  7. Pencil on May 18th, 2019 10:15 am

    This is how the police state starts. More and more reasons to make legitimate stops until there are no reasons NOT to stop everyone.

    Reasonable stops lead to reasonable searches until there is no reasonable excuse not to be searched each time. Then comes frequency . . . . every 5 miles checkpoints with random searches in between.

    That was the USSR, East Germany, Apartheid South Africa . . . . once those freedoms are lost, they rarely come back to the people.

  8. Sage2 on May 18th, 2019 10:09 am

    Great move for the legislature and governor to make! However, being a law will be broken…make the first offense $300 and the second offense $600 plus loss of license for one year. Addiction is a hard thing to break and many folks are addicted to the cell phone!

  9. Wilykyote on May 18th, 2019 9:38 am

    Fines too low…Insurance Companies should increase premiums
    3 fold on 2nd Violation. Tough love needed !

  10. retired on May 18th, 2019 8:09 am

    Is this going to apply to the cops also?

  11. JPL on May 18th, 2019 3:58 am

    It’s about time!

  12. mick on May 18th, 2019 2:18 am

    Not tough enough, it will accomplish absolutely nothing.





Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.