Ban on texting and driving, other laws go into effect Monday
More than 100 laws will be in effect as of July 1
More than 100 new laws go into effect Monday, including a ban on texting while driving.
When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law back in May, he pointed out the dangers of distracted driving in Florida.
DeSantis said in 2016, 50,000 crashes were caused by distracted driving. As a result, 233 people died.
So, after years of advocates seeking the change, texting while driving becomes a primary offense Monday, meaning police can pull you over if they see you texting, using social media or playing games while driving.
A ban on texting while driving is one that officials hope will make roads safer and deter people from driving distracted.
"People are addicted to their phones. We can only do so much, you know I’m saying?" said Mike Glover. "So it’s just a thing where you’ve got to take responsibility for yourself."
From car mounts to Bluetooth headsets and even new and upgraded smart radio systems, there are plenty of high and low-tech options to help make your ride hands-free.
Geoffrey Vernon, a smart home expert for Best Buy, said more people have been requesting such technology with the new law taking effect.
"It has been gradual," Vernon said. "I had a customer come in earlier today and was looking for a pair of headphones for this particular reason because, I mean, nobody wants to get a ticket. Nobody wants to get pulled over."
Law enforcement agencies plan to give warnings for texting while driving until the end of this year. Citations -- with a $30 on a first offense and $60 fine plus three points on your driving record for subsequent offenses -- will begin Jan. 1.
It’s important to know that using your GPS does not count under this new law unless you’re in a marked school zone or construction zone.
Overall, more than 100 new Florida laws go into effect Monday. Notable others include:
- It will be illegal to vape in most indoor workplaces.
- Cheaper prescription drugs can be imported from Canada and other countries, but only if they’re FDA-approved.
- For shore-based shark fishing, certain species will have to be kept underwater and immediately released.
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