Bans on texting while driving, vaping at work go into effect Monday

Several new state laws go into effect on Monday. 

Two of them will have a big impact on Floridians: Bans on texting while driving and vaping in the workplace.

Under the new state law, if law enforcement sees you texting while driving, they can give you a ticket. A first offense for driving while texting will be punishable by a $30 fine, with a second offense costing $60.

The consequences are even worse for folks texting while driving in a school or work zone, then it's considered a moving violation. That could give you points on your license and carries a fine starting at $164 in Orange County.

However, you can still keep your phone for hands-free uses, like navigating and talking on speakerphone. 

Sheriff John Mina says it should be simple for officers to figure out who the offenders are. 

“We've all seen them driving five or 10 mph slower than everyone else, distracted by actually texting and driving. We think it's gonna be fairly easy for law enforcement to spot that and cite the drivers,” Mina said.

Also in force on Monday, a ban on vaping in the workplace. The ban is similar to the long-standing law that prohibits smoking tobacco in places people work.  It's part of a constitutional amendment supported by nearly 70 percent of voters last year.

Laura Corbin, Bureau Chief for Tobacco Free Florida, said the change is important given the surge in vaping among Florida youth. 

“E-cigarette use in public places and indoors can re-normalize smoking and threaten to reverse the declines we have had in youth cigarette smoking. So, this is a positive step in youth prevention,” she said.

The new law still allows vaping at private residences and places like some bars, designated hotel rooms and retail vape shops.