Attention All ILS Drivers: Put Down Your Phone When You’re Behind the Wheel!


Florida Highway Patrol troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be ticketing drivers who are caught texting and driving. (Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES)

Sofia Farres, Editor-in-Chief

On January 1, 2020, a new driving law came into effect in Florida just in time for the new year. Drivers can now be ticketed for texting and driving.

According to the Miami Herald, despite texting and driving already having been illegal for quite some time, officers could not pull a driver over for committing the offense unless they were doing something else wrong, such as speeding.

This new law has been in the works for a while now. The police department was offering a “grace period” from July to the last day of December to warn drivers of the penalties they could face if they continued to text and drive in 2020.

Many ILS students are either just beginning to drive or have been driving for only about two or three years.

These students are also obsessed with using their phones and being constantly connected to social media. It can sometimes be challenging for them to put down their phones for a mere 30 minute car ride.

“It’s almost become an instinct for me to pick up my phone the second I get a notification. Since I just started driving, it’s been something I’ve had to train myself to stop doing because I know how dangerous it is to be distracted while driving,” said junior Ana Marrero.

Unfortunately, it is very easy to get into a car accident, especially in a city with traffic like Miami. Having the bad habit of constantly checking the phone can put someone in a critical, life-threatening situation.

Many students believe this law is great and will help prevent many future tragedies.

“After witnessing my friend get into several small car accidents without even touching her phone, I’ve realized just how important it is to focus while you’re driving,” said junior Gabriel Xirinachs. “I think this new law is great and it makes me feel safer as both a driver and a passenger knowing that people who do such a careless thing are getting repercussions for it that will hopefully get them to stop putting themselves and others in danger.”

It’s important to note that it is allowed to use the phone at a red light and to use Bluetooth or hands free technology while driving, but it is illegal for drivers to touch their phone while in a school or work zone.

Make sure you’re cautious while you’re driving and avoid getting a ticket or getting into a worse situation by putting down the phone when you’re behind the wheel!