If you drive on the Florida roads, you probably know that the state’s texting and driving law changed last year. Today, law enforcement can pull drivers over for texting behind the wheel as a primary offense (previously a secondary offense).

Review the state’s distracted driving law to potentially prevent a serious auto accident.

Texting offenses

Under the law, you cannot type, read or send an email, text or instant message while driving. You cannot use a handheld device for any reason in a school or work zone.

Florida does allow drivers to make calls and send messages using hands-free technology and voice commands. You are also exempt from the texting and driving laws if you are:

  • Sending or receiving safety communication in a natural disaster such as a hurricane
  • Reporting an emergency or crime to law enforcement
  • Navigating with a handheld device
  • Acting in an official capacity as a first responder
  • Operating a self-driving car

Penalties

You can receive a ticket starting at $30 plus court fees for a distracted driving offense in Florida. You will receive a fine of $60 or more for a subsequent offense or a first offense in a work or school zone.

In addition, a second offense carries three driving record points. You will receive a license suspension if you accumulate 12 points in a year.

If you suffer a catastrophic injury in an accident in which another driver was texting, you may be able to seek legal compensation for the costs associated with the crash.