Florida's texting while driving ban begins - WFLA News Channel 8

Florida's texting while driving ban begins

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It's time to put down your cell phones. A new state law started Tuesday at midnight. It bans texting while driving. Officers can only cite drivers if they pull them over for violating another law first, like speeding or reckless driving.

"It's a start and it's in the right direction," said Palmetto resident Marty Cucura.

Violators will have to pay a fine of $30 the first time they're caught texting behind the wheel. It will cost $70 for a second offense, plus points will be added to the driver's license.

AAA Public Policy Manager Karen Morgan says they started pushing for a law like this in 2008, but faced lots of opposition in the legislature.

"They really felt that government should stay out of the vehicle. But the bottom line is, this is about saving lives and that's what it does," said Morgan.

Florida is the 41st state to add an anti-texting law to its books. Texting while driving is considered a secondary offense in just four of the 41 states, according to Morgan.

"We would like to see this go further and if the legislature decides to address this in 2014 to make it a primary offense, we would be very supportive of that," she said.

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