The Florida Senate approved a ban on driver text-messaging today, 34-4. The bill now goes to the state House, where parallel legislation is dammed up in the Finance and Tax Council headed by Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale.
Bogdanoff says Florida courts already have the power to punish drivers who try to read and write text messages at the wheel. She sees our reckless driving statute, FL 316.192, as fully adequate for police to act on when they observe a driver texting, applying makeup or doing any of a number of other distracting behaviors one often sees on our streets.
I don't really disagree. What I do wonder, though, is whether police and prosecutors agree with her. I can't think of anyone I know of getting a ticket for texting. Can you? Please comment.
It's too bad we advocates didn't know Bogdanoff's views before now. They evidently were not unknown to House Speaker Larry Cretul when he consigned the House's texting bills to Bogdanoff's council back in March.
By the way, two of today's "no" votes in the Senate were cast by Miamians: Rudy Garcia and Alex Villalobos. The other dissenters were Joe Negron of Palm City and Steve Oelrich of Gainesville.