Jack Latvala puts brakes on most driving legislative bills

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From Keith Lang of the News Service of Florida: Transportation saftey advocates laid out an ambitious agenda Tuesday that included calls for stricter penalties on motorists who hit bicycle and motorcycle riders, refuse to take breathalyzer tests when suspected of driving under the influence, and booster seat requirements for older children.

But the chairman of the Senate committee that those measures would all likely have to go through pumped the brakes on all but one Tuesday, saying that there only seemed to consensus on his panel for a measure that would ban texting while driving for teenagers only.

After lengthy presentations Tuesday from AAA Auto Club South, the Florida Bicycle Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and ABATE of Florida, Sen. Jack Latvala, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, conducted a very quick survey of the seven-member panel to see whether any members opposed the ideas.

If anyone signaled that they did by simply shaking their head, Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, took it off the table. When he was done, only one proposal

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.