Texting and Driving – Education and Enforcement

Starting July 1, 2019, Florida motorists can be stopped and cited for texting and driving. The first violation for drivers is a non-moving offense with no points assessed to the driver’s record. The second violation is a moving violation with three points assessed to the driver’s record.

A first offense will be punishable by a $30 fine, with a second costing $60. Court costs and fees also would apply, and points will be added to licenses. The law takes effect July 1, but only warnings will be given until January. The texting ban does not apply to a driver making phone calls, reading emergency alerts, or using a navigation device, or to a driver whose vehicle is stationary, stop light, stop sign, side of road, etc.

Starting October 1, 2019, wireless communications devices can only be used in a hands-free manner when driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area. Drivers will be issued warnings through December 31, 2019. Starting January 1, 2020, drivers will be cited for using any wireless communication devices in a handheld manner in a work zone or school zone.

Driving distracted can not only hurt you and your passengers but puts everyone on the road in danger. Many things can create distractions while driving. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office encourage all drivers to put their phone down and focus on driving.

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