Effective January 1, 2020, South Florida motorists must stop texting while driving, unless they want a citation. Florida Statute Section 316.305 now allows law enforcement to stop motor vehicles appearing to be texting and driving and issue citations. The new law also bans the use of smartphone devices in construction and school zones. Drivers can still text while stopped at a red light, or at any point when their vehicle is stationary. Florida has become the latest state to make texting while driving a primary traffic offense, essentially meaning that law enforcement will be able to pull over drivers just for texting and driving.
Previously, a law enforcement officer had to pull over a driver for another reason and then cite them for texting while driving as a secondary offense.
According to the Florida statute, the new law is intended to:
- Increase safety for all drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other people using the roads.
- Prevent motor vehicle crashes caused by texting and driving.
- Decrease injuries, deaths, property damage, healthcare costs, health insurance rates, and auto insurance rates.