A bill imposing mandatory criminal penalties for killing someone while driving distractedly is headed to the House floor after it passed its final committee stop today. Although killing someone while driving is already a crime, the bill’s sponsor says the measure would make it easier for state attorneys to prosecute people.
The bill makes it a second-degree felony to kill someone while typing on a wireless device or reading a text message while driving. Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) is the bill’s sponsor. He says the increased penalty is needed after the law changed last year to make texting behind the wheel a crime.
"We just need to take another bite of the apple because unfortunately it’s a free-for-all out there. We as a team—Democrats, Republicans, our whole committee here—we understand that public safety is our No. 1 priority," he says.
Under the bill, it would also be a first-degree felony if someone knowingly causes a fatal accident and doesn’t try to report it or help the victim.