Florida Gov. Signs Texting-While-Driving Ban Into Law

May 28, 2013

It will soon be illegal to send text messages while driving in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott signed a texting-while-driving ban into law on Tuesday.

Texting will be a ticketable offense only if police catch people doing it while they’re pulled over for something else, like speeding. And Nancy Rasmussen, with the Florida Highway Patrol, said, police can’t look at phones without a search warrant, so it might be hard to tell whether someone’s texting or doing something like using a GPS.

"That’s really going to be a difficult thing, outside of just asking the person what they’re doing," she said. "Then they’ll have that discussion on the side of the road. "

Police can subpoena a driver’s phone records to check for texting after accidents causing injury or death. When the law goes into effect on Oct. 1, Florida will join the 46 states with at least a partial ban on texting while driving.