Texting while driving ban moves forward

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The sponsor of a measure to ban texting while driving in many cases said she thinks the proposal has a good chance to pass this year in the House, where it has been held up in the past by leaders who didn’t like the idea. The bill (SB 52) was approved unanimously Wednesday in the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee. But the real road block for many highway safety bills that some say infringe on personal liberties has always been in the House.

Senate sponsor Nancy Detert said House Speaker Will Weatherford assured her it would be heard. “We have a really good chance this year,” said Detert, R-Venice. “The speaker last year (Dean Cannon) did not like the bill and would not let it be heard in one committee. This year’s speaker, I think, will at least allow his chamber to speak.” In fact, the House version of Detert’s legislation (HB 13) by Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, is on the agenda for the House Transportation and Highway Safety Committee on Thursday.

The bills would make texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning drivers would have to be pulled over for something else before they could get a secondary ticket for texting. The bill has exceptions, such as allowing the use of “talk-to-text” technology, and allowing texting while a vehicle is stopped, such as at a red light.

Via The News Service of Florida.

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.