You will now be fined for texting and driving in Florida

Reporter: Nicole Lauren
Published: Updated:
Flag of Florida. Photo via Wikipedia.
Florida state flag.

New year, new punishments for texting behind the wheel. The ban in Florida to text and drive has become tougher at midnight – you will now be fined for violating the law.

The law states no texting while your car is in motion. You can use your smartphone at red lights while stopped. You can use your GPS while the car is in motion. But, for your safety, try to do that while your vehicle is stopped. And, if you are in a school or work zone, you cannot touch your phone at all.

Now, instead of a warning, a $30 fine is now in effect for violating the texting and driving ban. Second-time offenders will pay $60 and get three points on their license. Carolina Lee, who lives in Fort Myers, said people texting and driving are obvious to spot on the road.

“Yes you can tell just the way that they’re slowing around,” Lee said. “Slowing down on here either swerving a little bit and you know, I have children with me so I’m very cautious about that at all times.”

For the $30 base fine, add court costs and other fees, then the penalty will be significantly more expensive. Since July, police have stopped 127 people in Collier County while in Cape Coral there were 51 violations. Susan Wilcox, a Cape Coral resident, supports the law.

“I usually see them swerving,” Wilcox said, “their heads are down and you know just crazy.”

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