The e-mail warnings about new traffic fines that have been circulating in Florida recently are nothing but a hoax.
The messages, which have been sent to hundreds if not thousands of Floridians, warn of fines including $285 for not using a hands-free cell phone and $1,068.50 for illegally driving in a carpool lane.
Florida’s motor vehicle department has received hundreds of calls from motorists demanding to know more about the new “laws,” said Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Ann Nucatola.
"None of it is true. This is just completely, 100 percent a lie," she said.
It is unclear where the messages originated. Nucatola believes that the culprit was bored and wanted to see how the scheme would pan out.
Though lawmakers have repeatedly considered legislation limiting cell phone use while driving, they have never taken action. The most recent attempt was this past spring. One bill would have required drivers to use a headset or hands-free device while talking on the phone, but they could be ticketed for the violation only if pulled over on another offense. The proposed fine was $30.
The message also states that driving illegally in the carpool lane, also known as a high-occupancy vehicle lane, could result in a $1,068.50 fine. The actual fine is $125.