Florida fails to ban texting while driving
Back in January 2012, a poll from Mason-Dixon Polling & Research indicated that a vast majority of Florida voters – 71% to be more precise – are in favor of banning texting while driving. Unfortunately, it appears that lawmakers don’t agree with the population.
At the beginning of the Legislative Session, two bills were introduced on the matter of texting while driving. House Bill 299, filed by Rep. Ray Pilon, never even made it to a vote at the Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee. Sen. Nancy Detert, the sponsor of SB 416, had a bit more luck. Her proposition was approved in numerous votes in the Senate Transportation Committee, the Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee and the Senate’s transportation budget subcommittee.
Despite all of these good news, Sen. Detert had trouble to actually get a hearing from her fellow Senators, a situation she could not understand.
“I wish they would hear it,” she said. “Then they would understand it’s a secondary offense. It’s strictly texting. I’m not trying to take the cellphone out of your cold dead hand. I’m just saying stop weaving into my lane.”
For Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, lawmakers should take a moment and listen to their voters.
“If I’m a legislator, this is a no-brainer for me to vote for,” said Coker. ”There’s been very, very good public relations done nationwide, and even in Florida, that this is dangerous to do, and that’s obviously getting through.”
Both bills against texting while driving have now died as the Legislative Session ended.
Source: The Ledger, March 27, 2012; Tampa Bay Times, January 28, 2012