After two days of drama and four years of trying, a texting-while-driving ban is headed to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for consideration.
The Senate on Thursday accepted a House-amended version of SB 52/HB 13 and voted 39-1 to approve the ban. Supporters concede it’s not the ideal bill they want, but called it a “first step” in a path filled with road blocks, even to the 11th hour.
The drama came Tuesday when the House took a bill unanimously approved by the Senate weeks ago and approved an amendment by Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, that allows cellphone records to be used as evidence only in the “event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury.”
That meant the bill had to go back to the Senate for reapproval in the final days of session. And it put Senate sponsor Nancy Detert, R-Venice, in the position of accepting an amendment that could weaken the bill or of conceding defeat for another year
Detert said the bill “is still a good bill. It still will allow parents today to say to their kids 'Don’t text while driving,’ it’s against the law. ... It really will save lives.”