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House Panel OKs Ban On Texting While Driving

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — A ban on texting while driving in the state of Florida has gained new traction in Tallahassee as a House panel passed a bill creating a statewide ban.

The House Economics Affair committee cleared the bill (HB 13) by a 16-1 vote. Chairman Jimmy Patronis was the only vote against. The Panama City Republican had concerns about government intrusion into people's lives.

The ban is enforceable as a secondary offense which means police have to first stop drivers for another offense like speeding. A first violation is a $30 fine plus court costs and would be a nonmoving violation.

Second offenses would include a $60 fine plus court costs, and assess three points on your driver's license.

The ban includes typing a text or reading a text while driving. It also includes tablet computers and mobile phones. It would exclude using a "talk-to-text" feature and allows texting while stopped at a red light.

A companion bill (SB 52) is in the Senate.

Florida is one of a half dozen states without any restrictions on texting while driving.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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