The new Florida texting and driving law that makes texting (as well as any variation of typing using a mobile device) and driving a primary violation goes into effect today. Once actual fines are handed out it will cost $30 plus court costs for a first violation and $60 for a second violation.
FHP isn't completely taking its officers ability to write tickets for texting while driving off the table.
Under the new law passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, law enforcement will now have the authority to pull over drivers just for texting and driving.
The agency says in risky situations and incidents involving crashes tickets will be written. "We've know for years that it's costing people lives", said Branca. The ban on handheld use in school and work zones can begin to be enforced beginning October 1, with an education period of warnings until January 1, when fines will begin to be imposed on offenders.
Law enforcement says there are ways to distinguish texting from other phone uses, but they agree the law could be strengthened going forward. There are also increase penalties forr texting and driving in school zones and construction zones.