In July 2019, Florida passed The Wireless Communications While Driving Law (Florida Statutes 316.305), which made texting while driving a primary traffic offense. Law enforcement officers can now pull over and ticket drivers specifically for texting while behind the wheel. Previously, drivers could only be ticketed for texting if they were pulled over for another violation, e.g. speeding.
The primary reason for the new law is to combat distracted driving. The new law specifically prohibits operating a motor vehicle while “manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a wireless communications device.” So, “texting” includes email, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media apps.
However, the new law does not apply in two important situations. First, devices used for navigation are exempt from the law, both smartphones and built-in navigation systems. Second, drivers are allowed to text while vehicles are “stationary,” which includes being stopped red lights or stop signs.