It's now officially against Florida law to text while driving

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.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

WE LOVE OUR READERS!

Since 1990, Orlando Weekly has served as the free, independent voice of Orlando, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an Orlando Weekly Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.