Florida’s new hands-free law starts Oct. 1

Around the South

TAMPA (WFLA) – The second part of Florida’s new texting and driving law will kick in on Oct. 1, making school zones and active construction zones a hands-free area.

Similar to the initial texting ban, there will be a buffer period as police issue warnings, not tickets, to offenders.

Since the state’s new texting while driving law went into effect on July 1, 542 tickets have been written, and more than 400 warnings have been issued. A sponsor of the bill, Representative Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) said the slow rollout was intentional.

“We did give them discretion to either ticket or not ticket and educate and warn,” Toledo said.

Penalties for the hands-free portion of the law begin on January 1, and include a $60 fine and three points added to a license.

This is a stiffer penalty compared to the $30 dollar fine for texting while driving, and no points.

“Because there are children around in those areas. There are active workers and construction workers. So really the areas that are most vulnerable,” said Toledo.

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