In a couple weeks, Florida's first law prohibiting texting-while-driving goes into effect. There will be no advertising campaign to promote this new law so drivers must educate themselves. Many lawyers do not understand how the new law works either.
The text while driving ban is a "secondary' offense. This means that an officer can not pull you over for texting while driving if that is the only law violation he observes. However, he you are pulled over for some law violation or infraction such as not wearing your seat belt or speeding, and the officer sees you texting while driving, he can pull you over because you did not have your seat belt on and then write the additional $30.00 ticket for texting.
Be careful because the texting ban prohibits reading a text or email while driving! The ban also covers sending email communications and instant messaging. Basically, anytime you are manually typing a communication into your smartphone or device while driving it is against the new law. If your vehicle is set up for hands-free communications, you are allowed to use texting, email, and instant messaging.
You are allowed to text or read a text while stopped at a red light or while in a traffic jam. Drivers are also allowed to report criminal activity while driving.
As stated above, this texting ban is a "secondary" offense for now, but the law requiring someone wear a seat belt also started out as a secondary offense and eventually turned into a violation that the police can pull you over for is subsequent years.
Be careful and drive safe!
If you have been arrested or received a ticket for a traffic infraction, retain a criminal defense attorney that knows the law!
Thomas C. Grajek 863-688-4606