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Push continues to make texting while driving a primary offense


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - State lawmakers debated making texting while driving a primary offense on the house floor Wednesday morning.

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It was the first time a stand-alone ban has made it through committee, but it's still not smooth sailing for the legislation.

Logan Scherer was just nine-years-old when a texting driver slammed into the back of his parents' car at more than 90 miles an hour. The accident took Logan's life.

Now, his parents, Jordan and Brooke are advocating for legislation that would make texting while driving a primary offense.

"[We want] to actually do something about it. Distracted driving can be egregious like our situation, or we know many families, who it was just a simple, 'I looked down at my phone' or 'I was sending a quick text' and it changes the lives of families forever," said Brooke Sherer.

While the legislation is cruising through the House, the Senate has hit the brakes over privacy concerns.

"If you happen to be in your car and you look down to make sure you're going the right way that gives an officer the right to pull you over? I think that is problematic," said Senator Rob Bradley.

But House Sponsor Jackie Toledo doesn't buy the argument.

"Because we are addressing it in the House bill and if you take up the House bill then those concerns will be addressed," said Representative Toledo.

After fighting for the legislation for three years after the death of his son Anthony, Demitrus Branca is fed up with the politics.

"We need to put public safety, traffic safety first. This needs to happen... 12 years ago," said Branca.

As the 2018 session nears the end of the road, working out a compromise becomes a more daunting task, in part because there is a long list of priority legislation still on lawmakers' to-do list.

Forty-six states already have laws making texting while driving a primary offense.

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  • 2 months later...

Paul Vecker from the Bay County Sheriff's Office stopped by the studio to discuss the dangers of texting and driving.

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According to Vecker, in 2015, just under 3,500 people were killed by texting and driving.

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