State senator wants tougher texting and driving law
By Keith Landry, Reporter -
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Texting and driving are a dangerous combination. State Senator Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, wants to establish a specific law to punish someone who seriously hurts or kills someone while texting and driving.
"Right now, there is no specific penalty for such a tragedy," Sen. Soto says.
He is working on a bill that would make it a second or third degree felony if you hurt or kill someone while texting behind the wheel. Soto says, in some cases, offenders are getting reckless driving tickets after hurting or killing someone.
"It's a tragedy when these families find out when they are hoping for justice when a loved one has been killed during a texting while driving accident, and they find all they are going to do is get a slap on the wrist," he says.
Soto's bill did not pass during the 2013 legislative session. He says now that Florida has a new law which makes texting and driving illegal, he believes more lawmakers will want to make the law tougher.
"You know, if you are texting and driving, you are committing, you are reckless and you could potentially commit a serious injury or death," he adds.
The Florida Highway Patrol tells FOX 35 that statistics on texting and driving wrecks are under-reported, because there are so many exceptions to the new law.
Police agencies say they cannot document a texting and driving crash on an accident report unless the person admits they were doing it or there's an independent witness to it.