Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is lending his support for a measure that would allow cops to pull over drivers that are texting while driving.
Over the weekend, Gov. DeSantis signed the law that would make texting while driving a traffic offense, and the new law will also ban the use of handheld wireless communication devices in construction and school zones.
In a statement given at Sarasota high school on Friday, the Governor commented that “studies have shown that texting while driving is one of the worst of all driving distractions and a recent study ranked Florida as the second worst state for distracted driving.”
DeSantis added that it’s his “hope that by taking action to address distracted drivers today, that we will be able to make our roads safer and hopefully prevent some of these crashes that we’ve seen, injuries and, unfortunately, some of the deaths that we’ve seen.”
While the new law is set to go into effect July 1st, there are some police officers that feel the law isn’t strict enough.
In school and work zones, drivers are only allowed to be using their phones in the case of emergencies. That provision will take effect on October 1st, but officers will only stop drivers to warn them until January 1st.
Then, they will begin issuing tickets to drivers that are using their phones but not texting. However, the tickets are just a $30 fine plus court fees for their first offense.
If it’s a second offense, then it’s $60 plus court fees and three points on the driver’s record. If a driver is caught texting at a school or work zone, then that carries points on the first offense.
Speaking at Sarasota high school, the Gov. also noted that “you can see people really lose control on the road. I’ve seen it myself.”
Though some officers maintain that it’s not strict enough of a legislation, DeSantis and Florida lawmakers hope that it will change the way that drivers commute in the sunshine state.