Is this the year for texting and driving law? - FOX 13 News

Is this the year for texting and driving law?

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

Legislation to ban texting while driving in Florida is cruising ahead in the Florida House with a lot of support – and that's a stark contrast to past years.

On Wednesday morning, a House committee passed a bill that would ban texting while driving. The legislation has never made it this far in this House.

It passed the Senate last year, but did not get through the House.

The bill bans drivers from texting while they're driving, but they would still be able to text when the car is at a stoplight or stuck in traffic.

"It's like an epidemic out there with texting and driving," Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, said. "This bill isn't everything we wanted it to be. However, it's a little bite at the apple and we have to start somewhere and I'm just so happy it's moving in the House of Representatives."

Students at the Capitol had a chance to see what it's like to try to drive and text at the same time on a computer simulator. Cody Taylor of Jacksonville swerved and crashed on the machine.

"You can't see the road," he said. "You don't know where you're going and the next thing you know you hit behind a car."

Opponents have criticized the legislation as another way for government to intrude in people's lives.

Supporters insist it's a safety issue. They say studies show texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving drunk.

Florida is one of a half dozen states without any restrictions on texting while driving.

Bill sponsor Doug Holder says making that practice illegal sends a strong message to adults and young drivers, and he hopes the bill helps change people's driving behavior in the future.

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