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Texting and Driving Law Changes in Florida in 2020

January 06, 2020

FL- writes that Florida drivers caught texting and driving will get tickets for doing so this year.  The law has been in effect since last July, but officers gave drivers a grace period until January 1, 2020, in order to get used to the change. Officers have issued warnings thus far, but the period of leniency is now over.*

Statistics indicate that about one out of every four vehicle collisions in the United States involves a driver who was texting. Officers say that indications that a person is texting and driving are similar to what officers look for in drunk drivers. The car may swerve, the driver may fail to move when a light turns green, or otherwise he or she may be driving erratically. In order to pull a person over, the officer will have to witness the motorist on their phone. 

The law does permit texting while at a red traffic light, and devices can be used for navigation. Police say drivers should type in the destination prior to leaving to avoid using the phone while driving. 

The penalty for those caught texting and driving includes a $30 fine in addition to court costs and one point on your license for your first offense.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,166 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2017. Studies indicate that a person takes their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds to read a text message. For vehicles traveling 55 miles per hour, the length of time required to read one message is enough to cross a football field.

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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.