Texting-and-driving ban still facing legislative road block - FOX 13 News

Texting-and-driving ban still facing legislative road block

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TALLAHASSEE (AP) -

A bill to ban texting and driving is still bouncing between the House and the Senate in the Florida Legislature.

Wednesday, the House passed an amended version of the bill and sent it to the Senate.

But the sponsor of the bill in the Senate is not sure she likes the amendment. Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) is considering whether she should strip out the amendment and then send the bill back to the House.

The amendment would prohibit prosecutors from getting a driver's cell phone records unless the case involved an injury or death.

Now Sen. Detert is faced with a question: does that change make the bill meaningless?

She's not happy with the House.

"I'm surprised that they did that," she said. " I thought we sent them a very finely-tuned product and they decided there was a part they didn't like. So when it comes back over, we'll decide if we want to take it and have it done with and have a law, or if we want to strip the amendment off and send it back to the House."

"Even though we have three days left in session, in legislative terms that's a lifetime. I think the Senate will take the bill up and pass it. If they don't they'll amend it and send it back to us. We have plenty of time to get it to the governor so my hope is we get something done. It's been five years since this legislation has been filed. It's time that we get it passed, get it into law and save some lives," said Rep. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey).

Detert says she hopes the dispute can be resolved before the end of the legislative session on Friday.

The bill would make first violations a $30 fine plus court costs. Subsequent violations would cost $60 and add points to a person's driver's license.

Also, texting behind the wheel would be a secondary offense, so police could not pull drivers over for that violation. Officers could only write the ticket if they pulled someone over for another traffic offense.

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