Statewide texting ban clears last hurdle in Senate

Texting and Driving
Posted at 6:59 PM, Apr 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-08 18:59:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A statewide ban on texting while driving is now one more step closer to becoming law.

The Senate Judiciary committee unanimously cleared the bill (SB 52) on Monday. That sets it up for consideration by the full Senate. An identical House bill (HB 13) also is going to the floor there.

The bills make texting while driving a secondary offense. That means police have to first stop drivers for an offense like an illegal turn.

A first violation is a $30 fine plus court costs. A second or subsequent violation within five years adds three points to the driver's license and a $60 fine.

Efforts to pass a ban stalled for at least four years in the face of Republican opposition based on concerns about government intrusion into people's lives.