TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A new year means several new laws going into effect across Florida.
- Several new laws take effect statewide January 1
- Police will begin ticketing drivers texting and driving
- Other new laws involve taxes, minimum wage
One of those laws means drivers will want to keep those phones down.
Beginning Wednesday — January 1, 2020 — law enforcement officers can begin ticketing drivers they're caught texting and driving.
Since July, when texting while driving became illegal, officers began warning drivers when they were caught. But beginning Wednesday, they can hand out a ticket to a driver for texting while driving.
The texting ban doesn’t apply to drivers using navigation devices, or when their vehicle is stopped. And you can still use your phone to answer a call.
Here are the fines you’ll face if you’re caught texting:
- The first offense is a $30 fine.
- The second time you’re caught texting while driving within a five-year period, the fine will double to $60, and you’ll get three points on your license.
- For every time after that, you’ll get a $60 fine and three more points on your license.
There are also several other new laws going into effect for the new year.
The minimum wage will increase 10 cents, from $8.46 to $8.56 an hour. Also, a new bill will require doctors to electronically submit prescriptions to pharmacies — handwritten prescriptions won’t be allowed. And a tax bill includes a tax exemption for disaster preparedness supplies.