Taken from Univision:
Next Monday, a new law goes into effect in Florida that prohibits drivers from sending messages while driving. From now on, the police will be able to stop drivers they see chatting while driving.
Although it was already illegal to send messages while behind the wheel, this new law has a big difference from the previous one. Violators can be fined up to $ 30, plus court costs.
“People have to understand that while they are behind the wheel they need to be vigilant,” said State Sen. Annette Tadeo. The Florida congresswoman also reported that beyond the fine, violators will receive points on their license, which will cause them to increase the cost of insurance.
Accident victims attorney Jany Martínez Ward , also explained that this violation will now be a first offense. “Since 2016 there have been more than 50,000 accidents due to distracted drivers and 233 deaths. It only takes 5 seconds for a person to be distracted and cause an accident that can result in fatalities”, said the lawyer.
The law will be even stricter in school zones, as drivers will not even be able to speak on the phone, unless it is through a speaker.
Several questioned drivers agree with the new law, although they accepted that sometimes they do not comply with it. “It’s going to be something we have to get used to, but I think it makes a lot of sense in the long run,” commented one driver.
However, the law still has some questions, as many wonder how a police officer can prove that the person is chatting, if not by asking them to hand over their phone, something to which the driver can simply refuse.
Either way, starting July 1, Florida’s streets are expected to be safer.