As a Criminal Law attorney we are always researching new laws that take effect every legislative session and an interesting one that has been talked about for years finally took effect this year. Texting while driving is now a traffic offense effective October 1, 2013. If you are stopped and the cop has probable cause that you were texting while operating the motor vehicle you will receive a civil penalty. The more you get stopped for this infraction the higher the penalty is.
Driving while texting is a secondary offense which means that the cop has to pull you over for a different infraction and then can write you a ticket for the texting. But that cannot be the sole reason the cop stops you, they have to see some other traffic infraction.
From a criminal law aspect this can now be used to write a second ticket and extend the time the cop has you roadside which means if the cop believes you are up to some criminal activity it gives them more time to get a dog there to check your car for drugs and it also may give cops reason to conduct DUI investigations.
The purpose of this law is to cut down on the amount of accidents related to drivers who are distracted. Researchers say that someone texting is just as impaired if not more than someone under the influence of alcohol while driving a motor vehicle.
Try to put the phone away while you drive so that you are not tempted and be safe on the Central Florida roadways.