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

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Florida Channel

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.

“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).

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.