Local drivers react to new texting and driving law in Florida

Texting & Driving

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A new Florida law that bans texting while driving will soon impact drivers around the state.

“You just see it all the time,” said Darius Weeks. “I’m seeing people not only texting but also doing something else with the other hand."

He says when he’s behind the wheel, he notices many eyes are not on the road.

“It’s scary when you’re driving on the same road as this people,” Weeks told ABC 7 on Sunday.

In order to prevent this, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the ‘Wireless Communication While Driving’ bill in Sarasota on Friday. The new law will allow officers to cite drivers who are texting and driving. In the past, officers can only ticket drivers if pulled over by another violation.

“By taking action to prevent distracted drivers today, we will be able to make our roads safer, and hopefully prevent some of these crashes," said DeSantis “We’ve seen injuries and unfortunately some of the deaths that we’ve seen.”

Law enforcement locally are praising this bill. They say there’s so much they could do and July first can’t come any sooner.

“That really hurt law enforcement. It is really difficult to do, almost impossible for law enforcement to enforce texting while driving,” said Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells on Friday.

In a statement, Florida Highway safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director, Terry Rhodes said:

“Through educational campaigns and Florida Highway Patrol enforcement in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, this law will enhance all of our missions to prevent crashes, reduce injuries and fatalities, and improve road safety for all road users.”

For drivers like Weeks, he hopes to see more eyes on the road.

“Hopefully it will do some good than some bad,” he said.

The law does go into effect in July, but officers will only give out warnings until January.

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