A Quick-Start Guide to Florida's New Texting and Driving Law
We recently shared a blog about Florida's new texting and driving law, and the unintended consequences that may result from the law. While there is some more in depth information in that article, we also want to provide you answers to common questions. When it comes to questions about texting and driving in Florida, use this as a fast guide:
Can I text and drive in Florida?
No, it is illegal to text and drive in Florida. This includes any form of communication, such as texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, or using social media.
Can I text at a red light in Florida?
Yes, it is legal to text at a red light. The Florida statute (316.305 f.s.) states “a motor vehicle that is stationary is not subject to the prohibition,” so you can text while at a red light or any time when your vehicle is not being operated.
Can I text while driving my Tesla in autopilot?
Yes, you can text while driving your Tesla in autopilot in Florida. The statute says the regulations do not apply when “operating an autonomous vehicle, with the automated driving system engaged.”
If I’m pulled over for texting and driving, can a cop search my phone?
No, a cop cannot search your phone if you’re pulled over or caught for texting and driving in Florida. The statute has built in safeguards in order to protect people who are pulled over, including the fact that an officer must inform you of your right to decline a search of your device. It is illegal for a cop to access your device without a warrant. Police also cannot confiscate your device while waiting for a warrant and cannot coerce you to submit to an unlawful search.
What are the consequences of texting & driving in Florida?
According to the law, the first offense for texting and driving can result in a $30 fine, while a second offense may result in a $60 fine. Additionally, points will be added to people’s licenses and court costs may increase the fine to $108.