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Gov. DeSantis signs bill banning texting and driving in Florida

Posted: 9:27 AM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 23:08:54-04
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SARASOTA, Fla. — If you text and drive in Florida and think it's no big deal — sorry to break it to you — but soon you'll be cited for it without having to be pulled over for another offense.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 107 Friday morning, which makes texting and driving a primary offense.

Unlike before, officers will now be able to pull drivers over simply for texting.

"I think it's something that's appropriate, I think it'll make our roads safer," said Gov. DeSantis during a news conference at Sarasota High School.

The bill originally passed the Florida House by a vote of 108 - 7.

Christina Gray questions whether it would have prevented her son's death. 21-year-old Jonathan Gray was killed last June while walking home from work. Gray learned just this week her son's alleged killer was on his phone. FHP hit Stephen Tedford with texting while driving and careless driving charges.

"There's no text that is that important," said Gray, "If it was your child or family member– you don't want to feel this pain ever."

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The new law would take effect July 1, but only warnings will be given until January, when officers can begin writing citations.

A first offense is punishable by a $30 fine, with a second costing $60. Court costs and fees also would apply.

The texting ban does not apply to a driver using a navigation device or system or to a driver whose vehicle is stationary.