A new program has been implemented in Florida for drivers that break the texting law while driving in Florida. Under this program, fines will be waived and points will be removed from the license as long as a remedial class is taken. This program started on July 1, but there are hopes that it will help make law enforcement even stronger when it comes to texting while driving.

This new driving and texting law is tougher than the past law, which was enacted in 2018. Under the old law, texting while driving was only listed as a secondary offense, so a ticket could only be issued if the driver had been pulled over for another cause, such as speeding. This year, texting while driving in Florida was made a primary offense. School safety zones are listed now as hand- free zones. This means if a driver is just holding a cell phone, they can receive a ticket. Another hands- free zone will be active construction zones. In order to be classified as active, the construction zone will need to have workers completing the construction work at that time.

Anyone driving will still be allowed to use their cell phones. However, the only way around it will be to use some sort of hands-free device or technology. Under this law, drivers will be permitted to pick up their cell phone once the car has come to a complete stop, such as when the light is red. If traffic on the interstate has stopped completely, a cell phone may then be picked up by the driver.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers have given 542 tickets for texting while driving, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. There have most likely been many warnings that have been issued as well. These tickets have been given since the law passed on July 1. For a first offense, a $30 ticket may be issued, but then there are court costs that are associated with this. That may bump the ticket up to well over $105. A second offense will result in a $60 fine, with court costs as well.

This new program does have guidelines that must be followed on who can enroll in the texting while driving program. A motorist who has received a ticket for $60 in fines for not utilizing the hands free zones in schools can be enrolled. Once completed, all points related to the driving and texting ticket, along with the fines, will be removed.

There could be some tough enforcement on this program. Those motorists that are given tickets can avoid the penalties by completing the program. This could make law enforcement officers give fewer warnings and write motorists more tickets.

This program was voted on unanimously. Under the texting law in Florida, a person can not type any message, nor may it be sent while driving. The driver may also not read any messages that anyone has sent them a text message either. This also holds true for email messages, instant messaging, and social media page posts, comments, and messages.

If you have been a victim of a driver who was using a cell phone while driving, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to assist you in this matter. The best professional attorneys, such as Rojas Law Group, will be on your side and help you with every aspect of your claim.

Picture Credit: StockSnap

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