Ban on texting-while-driving back in Legislature

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-06 05:47:32-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A statewide texting-while-driving ban that has eluded passage for several years is again moving through the Florida Legislature.

The Senate Communications committee meets Wednesday to consider the bill (SB 52). Opponents have long likened it to needless government intrusion, but supporters say the measure will save lives.

The bill outlaws texting by drivers but exempts police and other emergency vehicles.

The proposed law makes texting subject to secondary enforcement. Police could cite drivers for it only if they had been pulled over for another violation such as speeding. A violation would lead to a fine and - if texting resulted in a crash - the driver would be assessed six points. Points lead to increased insurance rates.  

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia already have bans.