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Warning period over for wireless communications while driving law in Florida

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Posted at 9:31 AM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 10:23:57-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is warning drivers that beginning Jan.1, they can be stopped and cited for not operating their vehicle in a hands-free manner in a designated school crossing, school zone or active work zone area.

According to a press release, authorities are continuing Florida’s Put It Down: Focus on Driving campaign to ensure all motorists are aware of the state’s new regulations regarding wireless communications while driving.

“As a new year begins, I am proud to give law enforcement the ability to fully enforce the Wireless Communications While Driving law,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “All drivers should be completely focused on the road in order for everyone to arrive at their destinations safely.”

Officials say drivers using a wireless communications device in a school crossing, school zone or active work zone were only issued warnings through December 31, 2019. As of January 1, 2020, drivers will be cited for using any wireless communication devices in a handheld manner in these designated areas.

The Wireless Communications While Driving Law became effective July 1, 2019.

According to reports, from July 1 through December 30, 2019, there have been 1,087 warnings issued by Florida Highway Patrol for texting and driving. From July 1 through December 29, 2019, there have been 1,220 citations issued statewide by all law enforcement agencies for texting and driving.

FLHSMV has released educational tear sheets to law enforcement agencies statewide to help disseminate messaging about the campaign.

The statewide Put It Down: Focus on Driving campaign aims to raise awareness of and encourage compliance with the Wireless Communications While Driving Law.

You can follow the campaign on social media with the hashtags #PutItDown and #FocusOnDrivingFL. The campaign media kit can be found here.