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Florida Ban on Texting While Driving

In October of 2013 the "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law" was passed. There is some confusion surrounding this law, especially with regards to whether it is applicable just to texting or to all cell phone use such as playing music or using social media apps.

Statute 316.305 bans these activities while operating a motor vehicle: "manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters...and sending or reading data for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication...including but not limited to texting, emailing and instant messaging." 

 What if you wasn't texting and driving? What if you were engaging in a different activity on your mobile device?

This statue definitely bans texting and sending messages while driving, but what about other social media or cell phone uses such as checking Facebook? Arguably, browsing through your Facebook news feed counts as "reading data for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication." While Florida does not have a ban on the use of cell phones and hand-held devices the statues bans "typing...sending or reading."

The "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law" is a secondary law, meaning that an officer may not pull you over for texting and driving without the driver committing another traffic violation as well. For example, if you were carelessly driving due to texting the officer would be authorized to write you a ticket for careless diving as well as texting and driving.

This statue is not applicable to stationary vehicles nor does it apply to those using their devices for navigation purposes, finding safety information such as weather and traffic reports or communicating in a way that does not involve reading messages, such as talking on the phone.

While Platt Hopwood certainly does not encourage texting or the use of cell phones while driving we have a team of attorneys who are experienced with handling traffic violations at every level and are ready and willing to fight for your justice. To schedule your free consultation call (321) 725-3425.

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