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Politics / Issues

Texting While Driving Bill Passes First Hurdle

A new bill would make a fatal crash due to texting while driving a felony.
A new bill would make a fatal crash due to texting while driving a felony.
A new bill would make a fatal crash due to texting while driving a felony.
Credit Jason Weaver via Flickr
A new bill would make a fatal crash due to texting while driving a felony.

Under a new proposal, texting drivers could be hit with a felony if they’re involved in a fatal crash.  But the newest texting while driving bill is meeting some resistance in the statehouse.

It’s already illegal to text while driving in Florida, but Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) thinks ratcheting up penalties will be a more effective deterrent.  But Matt Willard from the Florida association of criminal defense attorneys says current law is broad enough to cover texting.

“We certainly don’t disagree that texting and driving or using a personal device is a bad idea,” Willard says.  “However the law already covers this, there’s no need to add anything else.  It’s part of what’s already out there as far as recklessly operating a motor vehicle, or you’re distracted, or not paying attention.”

Slosberg’s bill adds language about texting to the definition of vehicular homicide, making it a felony to cause a death while texting and driving. 

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