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Senate ban on texting while driving passes final committee

Texting while driving would be punishable as a secondary offense and a $30 fine under a measure that sailed through its fourth Senate committee Tuesday.

The vote means its ready for debate by the full Senate. Meanwhile, the House version continues to sit idly in committee. HB 299 hasn't been scheduled for a single committee hearing, not a surprise given how uneasy Speaker Dean Cannon and Rep. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna, chairman of the proposal's first committee of referral, feel about it.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, is the sponsor of SB 416. It passed without debate but a whole lot of support, including the Florida Public Health Association, Florida Medical Association, National Solid Waste Management Association, AAA, AARP, Florida Transportation Commission, Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida PTA.

A Times/Herald/Bay News 9 poll found that 71 percent of Florida voters supported a ban on texting while driving.