An Updated Hands-Free Driving Law in Florida
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. While many things can distract drivers, the biggest culprit is the cell phone. You might think it’s not a big deal, you only looked down at your phone for five seconds to send a quick text. But it is a big deal. At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is the equivalence of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Florida is the newest state to pass a law banning use of a cell phone while driving, albeit only in specific hands-free zones including schools and construction areas.
Florida Hands-Free Law
Beginning January 1, 2020, drivers in Florida could be ticketed for violating the updated hands-free driving law. While texting and driving had previously been illegal, it was only a secondary offense. This meant law enforcement officers could not pull a driver over for being on their phone. Now, officers can pull drivers over for handling their cell phones in school and construction zones, and for texting and driving.
Drivers will still be allowed to use their phones if their car is stationary and not in a travel lane. Handheld phone use will also still be allowed for those in an emergency situation. And drivers will still be allowed to look at their phones for navigation purposes if the device is mounted to the “windshield, dashboard or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle.”
Distracted Driving Will Cost You
If you’re caught violating the new law, you can expect a fine. A first offense will result in a $30 ticket plus court costs. If the violation is in a construction zone or school zone, the penalty doubles with three points added to the driver’s license.
Dock Your Phone with ProClip
If you need to use your phone for navigation, music streaming or hands-free calling, a proper mount in your car can keep you safe and avoid the ticket. A mount from ProClip can keep your phone docked safely and out of your hands. Always remember to drive safely and that the text can wait.