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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Texting while driving ban DOA



(From left, Speaker Pro Tem Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, and Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Ft. Lauderdale, talk during debate Monday on the floor of the Florida House. Photo by Scott Keeler, Times)

A bill that would have banned texting while driving seemed poised to finally become law this year. House and Senate committees had pushed it forward with little opposition. The Senate will hear the bill this afternoon. Law enforcement agencies came out for it.

But, despite all the support, one powerful lawmaker doesn’t like the measure, and that will likely be enough to kill it.

“It’s not stalled,” said Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale. “It’s dead.”

Bogdanoff, the House Finance and Tax Council chairwoman, said she told lawmakers she will not hear the bill in her committee, in a move that will likely kill the legislation.

Bogdanoff said lawmakers should not target individual behaviors. Instead, she told lawmakers to come up with a broader measure that addresses all motorist distractions, such as applying make-up while driving or looking at a mapping device.

“There are a number of things people do in their car that is distracting,” she said. “The question is how do we treat these distractions?”

Bogdanoff called the texting bill “intellectually dishonest.”

“You must have your vehicle under control at all times,” she said. “That is the law.”


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:31am]


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