Put it down. Texting while driving in Florida is now officially illegal.
On Friday during an event in Sarasota, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill, HB 107, that makes using your phone while driving in Florida a primary offense.
The law also requires school zones and active work zones to be hands-free areas — as in, you're not allowed to pick up your devices while driving in these areas. However, it prohibits law enforcement from accessing or confiscating wireless devices without first obtaining a warrant.
The bill originally passed the Florida House by a vote of 108-7.
Under current Florida law, motorists can only be issued a citation for texting or otherwise using their phones while driving if they're pulled over for other reasons.
The new law goes into effect July 1, though fines for the hands-free part of the law will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020. Fines will remain the same: A first offense carries a $30 fine, while a second offense carries a $60 fine.
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