If you’re making your list of New Year’s resolutions, you may want to add this one to it; put down the phone.
On average, reading and answering a text takes about five seconds. That means if you’re going around 55 miles-per-hour, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Starting January 1, 2020, if you get caught texting and driving, it will cost you.
The law went into effect back in July but up until now drivers were only issued warnings; that’s over and the Assistant Police Chief of West Palm Beach say it’s about time.
“I don’t think people will get it actually until it starts being enforced more stringently. You see the difference here, if you’ve ever been to New York or know anybody from New York, they will not pick up their phone at all in the car,” Assistant Chief Tameca West said.
The first offense, if caught texting, is $30.
The second time you’re caught within a five-year period, the fine will double to $60, and three points on your license.
For every time after that, you’ll get another $60 fine and three more points on your license.
If you get enough points your insurance could go up or you could even have your license suspended.
The texting ban does not apply to using navigation devices or when your car is stopped and you can still pick up your phone to answer a call.
But, there is a second part to the law which went into effect back in October. You cannot use your phone in a school or work zone.
If a cop spots you on your phone, even stopped, you could get a ticket.