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State Rep. Jackie Toledo was joined by Sheriff Chad Chronister, Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board member Stacy Hahn.
Wayne Garcia/WUSF Public Media

Florida drivers now must put down their cell phones anytime they are in a school or work zone or they could eventually get a $60 ticket.

State Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, helped champion the bill that went into effect Tuesday and was at Dale Mabry Elementary School in Tampa on its first day. Toledo stood alongside Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, school Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board Member Stacy Hahn to say education -- not enforcement -- is the key.

The latest data available showed nearly 20.8 million wireless subscriptions in Florida -- roughly a cell phone for every resident
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Floridians continue hanging up on traditional phone service.

With cell phones in hand --- or in their back pockets --- and access to broadband technology, hundreds of thousands of Florida residents and businesses stopped using landline phones in 2018, a new state report on the telecommunications industry shows.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Touching a cell phone while driving could soon be against Florida law. That's if a bill a Tampa lawmaker plans to introduce passes muster in the legislature.

The bill by Tampa Republican Jackie Toledo would mean law enforcement could pull you over just for being on your phone. Now, you have to have to be pulled over for another infraction first in order to be charged with texting while driving.

Toledo says accident death rates in Georgia have gone down by 25 percent after that state banned hands-on cellphone use in July.

A proposal that would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019. 

Should inmates be criminally charged when cell phones are found on their person? In Florida prisons, that can occur. But, in county jails, not so much. During a recent legislative debate, lawmakers discussed a bill making it illegal for local jail inmates to have cell phones within the facilities.

Gov. Scott Dials Up Tax Cuts on Cell Phones, Cable Bills

Jan 20, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott is asking lawmakers to cut taxes on cell-phone bills and cable and satellite television to meet the first half of his re-election campaign's $1 billion tax-cut pledge.

The proposal, announced Tuesday by Scott, would reduce state tax dollars by a projected $470 million. The governor's office said it would save about $43 a year for a family that spends $100 a month on cell-phone and cable services, though spending on such services varies widely by household.

Fl. Supreme Court Rejects Cell Phone Tracking by Police

Oct 16, 2014

Pointing to privacy rights, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said police need to get warrants before using cell-phone information to conduct "real-time" tracking of criminal suspects.

Justices, in a 5-2 decision, sided with a man who was arrested in 2007 in Broward County after a search of his vehicle uncovered a kilogram brick of cocaine hidden in a spare-tire well. Police tracked the man, Shawn Alvin Tracey, through location information given off when cell-phone calls are made.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Freedom Square, a continuing care community in Seminole, is a drop-off site for Cell Phones for Soldiers: a program that lets soldiers serving overseas connect with their families.

The Cell Phones for Soldiers program collects unused cell phones. Funds from recycled, unused cell phones and cash donations go towards mailing free calling cards to soldiers.