Florida’s distracted driving law—called the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”—prohibits all motorists from text messaging while operating a vehicle. This article covers the specifics of the law and the costs of a texting ticket.
Florida currently has no restrictions on making or receiving calls or talking on a phone while driving.
Florida’s distracted driving law prohibits all motorists from using a wireless communication device to write, send, or read a text message, including instant messages and email. Basically, a “wireless communication device” includes all cellphones, tablets, and similar devices that are capable of text-based communications or connecting to the Internet.
Exceptions. Florida’s texting-while-driving law contains a number of exceptions. The law doesn’t apply to:
Penalties. Texting-while-driving is a noncriminal traffic infraction in Florida. A texting ticket might cost the driver between $100 and $200.
Depending on the circumstances, a texting violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if a texting offense results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.
Enforcement. Starting July 1, 2019, texting violations will be “primary” offenses—meaning an officer can pull a driver over just for a texting violation. In other words, an officer doesn’t need some other reason (like speeding or running a red light) for making the traffic stop. However, officers must inform drivers they stop that they are not required to turn over their devices for inspection.