CREATED May. 2, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Florida lawmakers want to make it illegal for you to text while driving. They've sent a bill to the Governor that would write the ban into law.
Florida was one out of only eleven states that hadn't banned texting while driving. The measure has been turned down several times before. But distracted driving advocates said passing the law was a no brainer. Years of hard work and dedication are finally paying off for Jay Anderson and the "Stay Alive, Just Drive" organization.
" I think everyone would agree it's long overdue so definitely it's about time." Anderson said.
Anderson said everyday, he hears tales of tragedy and turmoil brought to light by distracted driving.
"Daily, I deal with families who have suffered tragedies due to the stupidity of someone else who believes that they can in fact text or use their cell phone behind the wheel." Anderson said.
One of those stories we brought you in 2011, Kristin Murphy's 19-year-old daughter Chelsea was killed by a driver with their hands on a phone instead of the wheel.
"He had a green light, but he wasn't paying attention. He ended up hitting her and her friend going 45 miles per hour." Murphy said.
Since her daughter's death, Kristin has made it her life mission to keep distracted drivers off the road.
"My daughter's life was not worth somebody talking to their friend on the phone." Murphy said.
But, safe driving advocates worry the new law may be hard to enforce. The ban is a secondary offense. To be ticketed, you have to be pulled over for something else.
"The average driver who gets stopped and questioned by law enforcement is going to deny the fact that they're texting." Jay Anderson said.
They said it is a step in the right direction to make our roads and streets safer.
"Unfortunately with legislation sometimes you have to take those baby steps before you can achieve your desired results." Jay Anderson said.
The bill still has to be signed by Governor Scott.