Now Illegal to Text and Drive in Florida - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Now Illegal to Text and Drive in Florida

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Tuesday was the day. It's now illegal to text and drive in the State of Florida, and it could cost more than $100 if you're pulled over.

Law enforcement agencies can issue secondary citations to drivers who are typing on a hand-held device while operating a vehicle.

You likely won't be pulled over for texting but could get an extra ticket if you're pulled over for something like speeding.

However, the law doesn't include talking on the phone, using GPS devices, or using talk-to-text features on smart phones.

The law also allows you to read or send text while at a complete stop, such as a red light. However, in an interview on Monday, the Florida Highway Patrol suggested that you just wait and not text at all.

There's also apps for that. A few companies offer programs that detour you from texting while driving. Some send an automatic response to incoming text messages or lock your phone while on the road. Most cost a one-time or monthly fee.

Among those apps, News 13 found a few. Available for Android phones, Textecution, OneProtect, AT&T DriveMode, DriveSafe.ly, and SafeCell. DriveSafe.ly and SafeCell are available on the iPhone.

If you are caught texting and driving, the base ticket costs $30 for a first offense, but in Bay County, FHP said it will cost about $110 with court costs and fees.

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