New law for handheld devices in school and construction zones

As of Tuesday, October 1, using your phone is a school or construction zone is illegal.

Texting and driving are already illegal in Florida. That law went in to affect earlier this year.

As for construction and school zones, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said, “Law enforcement agencies across the state won’t start issuing tickets until Jan. 1. Until then, warnings will be issued.”

On January 1, 2020, violations will punishable as a moving violation and three points will be assessed against a person’s driver’s license.

Drivers are urged to use handsfree devices only.

According to Florida’s Supreme Court, a law enforcement officer cannot request to see your phone without a warrant. If an officer does not obtain a warrant but issues a citation based on texts he read on your phone, the citation could be dismissed and the officer could be disciplined. However, there are circumstances in which an officer could possibly look through a driver’s phone, such as an accident involving serious injury or death.