TALLAHASSEE, Fl. - A new law goes into effect on Tuesday that will ban texting behind the wheel and Florida drivers could face a fine if caught.
Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law earlier this year, making Florida the 41st state to ban texting while driving.
But the new law says a law enforcement officer cannot stop a drive just for texting because it's a secondary offense. A driver would have to be pulled over for something else first.
Supporters of the law applaud the ban as the first critical step towards making roads safer. The bill had been defeated over the last five years by House Republicans.
Several critics of the bill complain the law is watered down. Scott even vetoed $1 million in the state budget for a marketing campaign to explain the new law. Instead, drivers will be alerted to the change via electronic road signs.
First time offenders of texting while driving will receive a $30 fine. If the distracted driving leads to a crash, authorities can now use cell phone records to determine if the phone was being used.
Although the law bans texting, Florida's drivers can still use their phones for navigation, listening to music and activating voice commands.