In Florida you’re allowed to text while you’re stopped at a red light, but you’d better not be caught texting while in a work or school zone. Police officers are now issuing $60 tickets for anyone caught doing so. While this law went into effect over the summer, officials were taking time to educate people about texting while driving before they started enforcing this law. Unfortunately, this is still a difficult habit for many people to break.
What Happens When You’re Caught Holding Your Phone While Driving
Your location at the time you’re caught texting while driving will play a major factor in what will happen. However, if you have your cell phone, tablet, or gaming system in your hand while driving through a work or school zone in Tampa, Florida you will receive a ticket.
What Happens When You’re Caught Texting at a red Light
Nothing will happen if you’re stopped in traffic or at a red light. Technically, you’ll still be able to use your phones without being penalized. However, it isn’t recommended to do so.
How to Avoid a Ticket
Simply put, don’t get caught texting while driving. If you’re not in a school zone though, you can hold your cell phone all you want. Of course, you should still only do so when it’s for a “safety” reason like navigating, checking a weather or traffic alert, or reporting some type of suspicious or criminal activity. As such, GPS is still permissible regardless of where you are, but don’t touch your phone while in a work or school zone even if you’re using GPS.
Understanding Voice Texting
This law only applies when you’re touching the buttons on your phone. As such, you’re allowed to voice text at any time and in any location – including school and work zones throughout Tampa, Florida. The reason for this is that police officers are trying to cut down on the number of people who are texting while driving specifically in such zones.
Enforcing the new Law
Between July 1 and December 29 police officers in Tampa, Florida issued over 1,200 citations for texting while driving. This equates to 18 per county throughout this 6-month period. This wasn’t easy for officers to do because it’s challenging to deduce what a driver in another car is doing on their phone, especially if they have tinted windows. Add to this the fact that officers must also concentrate on the road while they’re driving. Even once an officer pulls someone over the driver can still argue that they were dialing a phone number or using their GPS – both of which are still legal.
Understanding Your Rights
Although an officer can ask to see your cell phone, they must also make you aware of your right to decline to show it to them. The only times you’re required to show an officer your phone is if you’ve been served a warrant or if you’ve caused an accident in which someone else has been injured or killed.
The Cost of a Ticket
Your first ticket for texting while driving in Tampa, Florida will cost you $30 plus court costs that could be in excess of $100. If you then have a second offense within a 6-year period, you’ll pay $60 plus court costs. You’ll also receive a moving violation which means that three points will be added to your license.
At Same Day Delivery we understand that you’re a busy business person. You need to be able to talk to your clients when they’re available. However, you really don’t need to collect a ticket for doing so. This is why you should get in contact with us so we can start doing the driving for you as soon as possible.
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