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Hands-free enforcement begins in Florida

Starting today, law enforcement agencies statewide will start ticketing distracted drivers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Starting New Year’s Day 2020, Florida law enforcement agencies are enforcing the state’s new distracted driving law. Though it went into effect in July, law enforcement wasn’t handing out tickets until today, only warnings.

Authorities said it was to educate people about the law so an unwitting driver might not be penalized for being oblivious to the change. Florida Highway Patrol said it issued at least 1,087 warnings for texting and driving.

If you are handed a ticket for distracted driving, you’ll be paying for it in more ways that one. That’s because of how the point system works in Florida. Traffic violations will earn you a set amount of points and as they add up, your license could be suspended.

Here are a few examples:

  • Speeding is three points
  • Failing to stop for a school bus is four points
  • Leaving the scene of a crash, without leaving any information is six points!
  • if you’re caught testing in a hands free zone, that’s three points

And if you rack up too many points, your license is taken away dependent on the severity of points lost. Examples include:

  • 12 points within 12 months is a 30-day suspension.
  • 18 points within 18 months is a three-month suspension
  • and 24 points within 36 months is a one-year suspension

You can check how many points are on your license on the Florida Department of Highway Safety’s website.


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