Seen post about a new Florida law? It isn't true

While not considered safe, it's legal for Florida drivers to use cellphone

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A post circulating on Facebook has some Florida drivers confused -- because it's not true.

The post claims that Florida just passed a law that would allow law enforcement to ticket anyone they see driving with a cellphone in their hand. It said violators would get a $250 ticket and be sent to driving school, and ends with "Let everyone know."

The post has been shared hundreds of thousands of times.

There are several things wrong with the post. While a law making using a cellphone while driving a primary offense just went into effect in Georgia, the legislature in Florida has not passed a law anything close to that. Currently, a driver can only be ticketed for texting while driving if the are pulled over for breaking another law, and there are no restrictions in Florida for talking on a phone while driving.

Dave Binder is one of many who saw the Facebook post, complete with the Florida DMV logo and a web link, and thought it was real.

"I have heard of the one in Georgia," Binder said. "I just saw that and thought, 'Well, they must’ve passed it here and didn’t say anything.'" 

News4Jax contacted officials with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles about this post. They said the link given in the post is in no way associated with the state of Florida and encouraged people to follow their official channels for accurate and up-to-date information.

Ironically, anyone who followed the hyperlink in the post would get an accurate summary of current state law and the statement: "Talking on a cell phone while driving is not illegal in Florida." The site does gn on to give warning of the dangers of using a cellphone while driving.

About the Authors:

Florida-born multi-media journalist pays special attention to issues in St. Johns County.

Digital election producer in 2022. He created in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website through 2021.