Niceville police patrol for people texting while driving

Northwest Florida

NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — Niceville Police were out in full force today, looking for people who are texting while driving.

The Niceville Police Department posted to its Facebook page today, saying, “Our Traffic Division is out today focusing on speed and distracted driving. As you may know, Florida law now makes it illegal to text and drive.”

“Florida State Statute 316.305(3)(a) states ‘A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, emailing, and instant messaging.'”

The new law went into effect July 1, but law enforcement only handed out warnings for six months. Starting Jan. 1, law enforcement began ticketing drivers. A first-time ticket for texting while driving will cost $30, plus court fees. If you’re caught operating a phone that is not hands-free in a school or work zone, the fee doubles to $60, plus court costs and three points on your driver’s license. There are exceptions.

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