Florida Cell Phone & Texting and Driving Laws

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Florida's Limited Text Ban

In October, 2013, Florida enacted a limited ban on text messaging while driving. The law poses no limitations on cell phone use, however.

The law states:

"A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging."

In other words, drivers in Florida can't type into a virtual keyboard, or send or read messages. Keep in mind that even if a driver does manually enter information into a wireless device, that will not by itself result in arrest. A driver can only be charged for violation if arrested for another motor vehicle violation (see below).

How is it Enforced?

Florida's texting law is considered a "secondary law." A secondary law refers to the fact that an officer can only pull you over and issue a ticket if the officer has witnessed some other violation – for example, you ran a stop light while texting. A police officer cannot simply pull you over for texting while driving. Violation of the law is punished as a nonmoving violation and if a crash occurs because of a moving violation and texting, the driver will be penalized six points.

Additional Resources

Follow the links below for more information surrounding Florida driving laws.

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