Upgrade To Florida's Texting While Driving Law Clears First Senate Panel

Oct 24, 2017

A bill making texting while driving a primary offense cleared its first Senate committee hearing Tuesday. Tallahassee resident Demetrius Branca supports the bill. In 2014, Branca lost his son Anthony to a person distracted by texting while driving.

Demetrius Branca of Tallahassee speaking during the Senate Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Tuesday.
Credit Florida Channel

“In Texas, 14 elderly folks were killed by a distracted driver. They changed their law immediately. Is that what it’s going to take in Florida? Do we have to kill our parents before we changed our minds about distracted driving? I hope not.”

Currently, texting while driving is classified as a secondary offense. That means a person has to first be pulled over for something like running a red light, before getting ticketed for texting while driving.

On a 6-2 vote, the Senate Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities approved the bill by Sen. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville).

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