Will Texting & Driving Become A Primary Offense?

The Florida Legislature is considering a bill that would make it easier for law enforcement to ticket a motorist for texting and driving.

Currently, texting-and-driving is a secondary offense; the Florida Legislature is reviewing a measure that, if passed, would upgrade the charge to a primary offense.

“Right now, this law is just being reviewed,” said Florida Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Lt. Eddie Elmore. “Currently texting and driving in Florida is a secondary offense, meaning the motorist must be doing something else to violate the law in order for a citation to be issued. If the law passes to change the status to a primary offense, a citation can be issued just for texting and driving.”

Each county has different fine amounts for the secondary offense of texting and driving.

“Currently the fine for this offense is roughly $115 to $125 depending on which county the offense occurred,” Elmore said. “However, that amount may increase if the law passes changing the violation to a primary offense.”

Some social media posts have indicated the bill has passed, but it is currently under consideration.

The Florida Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are working to educate all motorists on the dangers of texting and driving.

“Texting and driving has played a role in accidents here in Florida,” Elmore said. “We want everyone traveling our highways to be safe, slow down, obey the law, and don’t become a distracted driver.”

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