Senate texting ban sponsor will vet new House plan

Senate texting ban sponsor will vet new House plan

by
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 26, 2010
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
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March 26, 2010

The backer of a ban on texting-while-driving in the Idaho Senate said he needs to study a new plan approved by the House Friday before deciding if he can support it.

“It’s a different approach,” Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, said about the House plan that would create a $50 fine for a first texting offense and $100 for a second offense.  McGee said he thinks his plan, which would list texting as a type of inattentive driving and carry a misdemeanor fine of up to $300, is more appropriate.  That plan passed out of the Idaho Senate, but has not gotten a full House vote.

McGee said the two plans are an example of the interactions and checks and balances between the House and Senate, and said he was pleased that the House plan received 51 “yes” votes.  He said he will study the House plan over the weekend, and discuss the measure with law enforcement and other officials that he consulted with when drafting his plan before deciding if he will support it.

Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, who tried to create a texting-while-driving ban last year, said he also needs to review the House legislation, but that he’s inclined to support it.  Bock said there may be some merit in lowering the penalty for being caught texting behind the wheel from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

Watch McGee and Bock discuss the Senate texting ban here.

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