Florida Lawmakers Approve New Legislation to Make Texting and Driving Illegal

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Florida Lawmakers Approve New Legislation to Make Texting and Driving Illegal

Texting while driving is now a primary offense in Florida. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)

Texting while driving is now a primary offense in Florida. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)

Texting while driving is now a primary offense in Florida. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)

Texting while driving is now a primary offense in Florida. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)

Paola Avazian, contributing writer

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Florida’s government passed the Wireless Communications While Driving Law, which prohibits texting and driving as of July 1, 2019. The law promotes safe driving and to discourage phone use on the road.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the new law “allows law enforcement to stop motor vehicles and issue citations to motorists that are texting and driving.” This means mobile phone use while driving has moved from a secondary offense to a primary one.

Maggie Jimenez, a Florida driver and mother of two, fully agrees with the Wireless Communications While Driving Law.

“I feel so much safer knowing people will be getting pulled over for texting and driving. My daughters drive around Miami regularly and as a mother I would be outraged is something happened to my daughters due to texting on the road,” Jimenez said.

Accidents due to texting and driving happen very frequently in the state of Florida. Statistics gathered by the FLHSMV reported that in 2018 alone, there were 3,665 accidents caused by the use of electronic communication devices, or cellphones. The Sun Sentinel reported that Florida is the second worst state for distracted driving, according to a study carried out by EverQuote Inc.

Despite this evidence, there are still some Florida drivers who disagree with the newly enacted law. Nicole Avazian, 20, is one of these individuals.

“I think the law is a bit over-reactive. I use my phone for things like music and navigation all the time while I’m driving. I think it’s unfair to pull me over when I may not even be texting, and there’s really no way to tell what anyone is doing on their phone in the car,” Avazian said.