Parts of the federal government shut down at 12:01 a.m. this morning, but that won't stop Sarasota County deputies from enforcing a new law that went into effect simultaneously.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office today began enforcing a ban on texting while driving, which prohibits typing on any handheld device while operating a motor vehicle, according to a press release. Deputies would have to stop a driver for a separate infraction, because the new non-moving violation is considered a secondary offense.
“There will be some difficulties enforcing the law at first, but it will certainly improve safety,” said Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. “Just like the seat belt law in 1987, we can fine-tune it as we go forward.”