Effective October 1st, 2013, it will become illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device for non-voice communication. This does not apply to a car that is stationary and is not being operated. It also does not apply to a driver of a police car, ambulance, or firetruck. It also does not apply to someone reporting criminal or suspicious activity, although why anyone would text such a thing rather than call 911 is beyond me. Thankfully, it does not apply to receiving various messages relating to navigation – so we can do that, but carefully please. You can still use your phone for safety-related information, radio broadcasts, navigation purposes, or conducting wireless interpersonal communication that does not require manual entry of letters or numbers. You are also not allowed to read messages.
So, how will the police catch the law-breakers? Enforcement of this law can only be done as a secondary action when a driver has been detained for a suspected violation of another law. So those Floridians who are prone to update their Facebook while driving drunk are now going to be in real trouble. The driver’s phone billing records can be admissible as evidence only in the event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury to another. This is a good law. We need to be paying attention to the road as we drive.