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.
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