New texting while driving law not being enforced

By Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:29:14 AM EST
Updated On: Oct 09 2013 12:09:02 AM EDT

Florida is now beginning its second week under a new law that banned texting while driving, but the law isn't really being enforced.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Florida is now beginning its second week under a new law that banned texting while driving.

Since the beginning of the month, it's been technically illegal to text and drive. However, the law isn't really being enforced.

"As far as we know, we haven't done any enforcement of the texting violation," said Capt. Keith Gaston of the Florida Highway Patrol. He says, to date, the FHP for the entire state has yet to write a single ticket for texting while driving.

"That's statewide," said Gaston. "We had the same issue when seatbelt laws were initially passed. It was originally a secondary violation and it took a long time for that enforcement to catch up to the violation."

Gaston says because it's a secondary violation -- meaning you have to already be breaking a law -- that makes it tough to enforce, and he thinks it will take a year before offenders could be ticketed.

Channel 4's Scott Johnson spoke with drivers who are split on the new law. Some say they've put the phone down, while others say they simply keep driving.

The FHP also points out that if you do anything on your phone where you have to punch more than one button, it's considered texting and illegal. That includes dialing a phone or using a GPS.

The FHP recommends only using pre-programmed speed dial where you only have to punch one button.

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