Florida texting while driving law to go into effect on Monday

(WSVN) - If you are someone who likes to text while driving, then you may want to start thinking twice.

A Florida law making the practice a primary offense goes into effect Monday, July 1.

Under current law, officers can only cite drivers for texting if they are pulled over for another violation. However, the new law allows officers to stop motorists simply for texting alone.

The new law will also ban the use of any handheld wireless communications devices in school and construction zones.

“Studies have shown that texting while driving is one of the worst of all driving distractions, and a recent study ranked Florida as the second worst state for distracted driving,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the bill signing last month. “It’s my hope that by taking action to address distracted drivers today, that we will be able to make our roads safer and hopefully prevent some of these crashes that we’ve seen, injuries and, unfortunately, some of the deaths that we’ve seen.”

A first offense will be punishable by a $30 fine, with a second costing $60. Court costs and fees also would apply and points will be added to licenses. Although the law goes into effect on July 1, warnings will be given until January, when officers can begin writing citations.

The texting ban does not apply to a driver using a navigation device or system or to a driver whose vehicle is stationary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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