Ban on texting and driving winds through legislature - FOX 13 News

Ban on texting and driving winds through legislature

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It only takes a second, and you're too busy to pull off onto the side of the road, so you text back. What would it hurt? Unfortunately, it could mean you could get hurt and who knows who else could get injured if you crash.

On Wednesday, Tallahassee was a buzz over a bill that would ban texting and driving. It would also make it illegal to email or play games while operating a vehicle.

Senator Nancy Detert of Venice is sponsoring legislation for the fourth straight year. She says Florida is one of only five states without some sort of restriction on texting behind the wheel.

Detert says someone texting behind the wheel is as dangerous as a drunk driver. Opponents have argued a texting-while-driving ban is government intrusion, but Detert says she used to hear the same argument against mandatory seat belts.

"People that were against seat belts, that's one thing. If you don't wear your seat belt and you project through your windshield, you only hurt yourself. Texting is totally different. You're going to take other people out so your freedom to drive your car kind of ends at my bumper,"

Detert said.

If the bill becomes law, cost of the citation would be $30. It would be okay to text in a parked car or use your GPS while moving.

Similar bills have floated around Tallahassee for years. Insiders say the idea is finally gaining momentum and has better chance of getting support than ever.

"I think the prospects are great. I would be shocked if this didn't pass this year because we have such good leadership in the Senate and good leadership in the House. The House has been the stumbling block in the past and I think it should be fine this year," Detert said.

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