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Senate panel again passes texting-while-driving ban

Published Jan. 26, 2012

Sen. Nancy Detert's limited ban on texting behind the wheel swiftly passed a third committee hearing Thursday by a vote of 14-1.

Its House companion is a different story, having received zero discussion time so far.

Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, who basically killed a ban a couple years ago while she was in the House, was the lone nay in the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations.

Detert's ban, SB 416, would penalize texting while driving only on top of a primary offense, such as speeding or causing a crash.

HB 299, sponsored by Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, remains unassigned to a committee. In an interview after the meeting, Detert said she didn't understand why House leaders are so apprehensive.

We've written about the bill's chances of making it through a Legislature wary of infringing on personal liberty here.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported its next stop would be the full floor. It's been referred to the Budget Committee.