Just two weeks ago, the Senate unanimously pushed through Bill SB 52, which would ban texting while driving on Florida's roads. Then, on Wednesday, the House passed the ban.
So that's the end of it. The Florida Legislature at work yaay!!
Except that, no.
Because the bill might not even make it to the governor's desk because of an amendment the House added to it that pretty much ensures it'll just die a slow death.
Basically, the amendment added by the House would keep cops from getting a driver's cell phone records except in the case of an accident that caused and injury or death.
As this has always been a sticky issue, how exactly would "texting while driving" be proven by cops?
Under the House amendment, any driver who decides to contest a texting-while-driving ticket could ask a judge to throw out the case due to lack of evidence.
Rep. Doug Holder has been trying to pass a texting bill since 2008, and this is the first time it has gotten as far as a House vote. Yet, now, it might be back to square one for Holder and supporters of the bill.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that some reps are thinking that the amendment was added by some Republicans in the House as payback to Sen. Nancy Detert for being a part of killing the "parent trigger" bill that would have given parents a voice in turning troubled and failing schools around.
Detert was not pleased with the amendment, so mission accomplished?
Now the plan is for the amendment to try to be removed and sent back to the House for another vote. But it may be too late, since the session ends Friday.
So now what was once a promising bill that would give Florida some kind of texting-and-driving law is now most likely going to die because members of the Legislature prefer vengeance over getting shit done.
Florida Legislature gonna Florida Legislature.