New law bans texting while driving


Sami Ramadan

It’s no secret that teenagers seem to be glued their cell phones no matter where they are. You see people use them in class, during Power Hour — and maybe even while driving. However, that last part about driving might change.

A new legislative bill will ban texting while driving in the state of Florida. The bill allows police officers to pull over drivers if they are seen texting while driving. Texting while driving used to be a secondary offense, but the new bill makes it a primary offense.

“Even though the bill bans texting and driving, people will still do it,” junior Bradley Fleeger said. “I think it’ll help reduce crashes…like fender benders.”

For those caught texting while driving, the first penalty is a fine of $30 not including court costs. A second penalty will be a $60 fine.

Although texting while driving is banned, using your phone for navigation is still OK, as long as both hands are on the wheel.

“The bill might directly affect me because I use Google Maps when I’m going someplace new,” sophomore Tatum Berard said.

You can also use your phone while the car isn’t moving.

“I’m going to have to be a little more careful using my phone,” Fleeger said. “It will be harder to get out of the habit of picking up the phone while driving.”

The law is scheduled to go into effect July 1, but the state will run a campaign to inform people of the new law, then officers will write warning tickets for a few months.

By Sami Ramadan