New texting and driving law goes into effect July 1
SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO/NSF) - It's official: Starting July 1, law enforcement will be able to pull Florida drivers over and ticket them for only texting.
Drivers will still be allowed to use their phone while their car is stopped.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the new bill into law Friday morning. According to the bill, the first offense is punishable by a $30 fine. A driver's second offense will cost $60.
DeSantis said last month that he supported efforts to make texting while driving a primary offense.
“This stuff has got to be enforceable,” the governor said April 24. “If it’s a primary offense, then people are going to get pulled over. So, you’ve got to make sure that is going to happen. The more you go beyond texting, I just have concerns about the administrability of it.”
Sen. Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican who spearheaded the issue in the Senate, had sought to make the hands-free requirement statewide.
And to address concerns about racial profiling, the bill would require officers to record the race and ethnicity of texting-while-driving violators, with annual reports on the issue submitted to the governor, Senate president and House speaker starting Feb. 1.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.