Fla. texting-driving bill picks up speed

March 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 8 (UPI) -- A bill to ban texting while driving in Florida cleared House and Senate committees, and proponents say it has sufficient momentum to become law.

"It's tremendous," said Rep. Doug Holder, a co-sponsor of the bill. "The most important part of this whole thing is to be able to empower parents and drivers' ed teachers to tell their students and children that texting while driving is illegal in Florida."

The bill, HB 13, was passed Thursday and has more committees to clear, but a Senate version, SB 52, won unanimous approval in a committee meeting Wednesday.

"Is the bill the best bill in the world for texting and driving? No," said Rep. Irv Slosberg, who voted in favor of it, adding, "in the Florida Legislature it has to go slowly. This will take a bite out of the apple, and next year hopefully we'll enhance this."

The proposed House bill makes texting while driving a a secondary offense, requiring a driver to commit another violation, such as careless driving, to be pulled over, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

Florida is one of only five states without a texting-while-driving prohibition, the newspaper said.

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