Florida's Ban Against Texting and Driving Starts Oct. 1 - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Florida's Ban Against Texting and Driving Starts Oct. 1

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Gone are the days of texting behind the wheel, without consequence.

Starting Tuesday, Florida's Ban on Texting and Driving Law will take effect.

Texting alone won't get you pulled over…

"An officer will have to observe another violation in order to stop you and then the texting would be a secondary violation to the first they observe," said Lt. Dave Brown, Florida Highway Patrol.

If you are speeding or you commit another offense first, you could pay an additional price.

"I believe the actual state fine is 30 dollars, but when you add on the court fees and other fees, it's going to $110 in Bay County," said Brown.

Making a voice call or using a navigation system won't be illegal.

"If you are stopped at a stop sign, red light, railroad crossing, any of those things you are still operating a vehicle so you don't need to be texting," said Brown.

Many locals admitted that they have texted on the road before, but for the most part they think the law is a great idea.

"I think it's a good thing that they are finally doing something about it," said James Clewis. "People that are texting or using phones in general are taking their attention away from what they should be doing and that driving."

"I feel its appropriate all of us have been guilty at some point or another, but it's really very dangerous," said Russell Wright, Sr., Motorist. "I'm a licensed funeral director and embalmer and I don't want a persons business that bad by texting and driving."

Enforcement is the next step. Officers say they won't be checking phones or pulling records unless it causes an accident with injuries.

"If you see them looking down, constantly looking down and not looking where they are going it could be a sign, but unless you see the device you won't be able to tell for sure," said Brown.

Young people do it, middle aged people do it, old people do it, everybody and it's gotten out of control," said Wright.

AAA recommends downloading a smart phone app, which will lock your phone from texting while you are on the road, putting your phone on silent so you aren't tempted to check your phone, or choosing a passenger as a designated texter.