Texting while driving closer to becoming primary offense in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Capitol News Service) – There is new hope for anti-texting legislation. A bill allowing police to ticket someone they see texting and driving cleared its first committee in the Florida Capitol on Tuesday.

If a police officer pulled alongside a texting driver, the officer could not ticket her without finding another violation with which to pull her over.

Families who have lost a loved one to texting and driving say it has got to stop.

“It could save another mother to have to go through what I am going through,” said Jodi Dominguez a mother who lives in Tampa.

Patricia Viccaro lost her son Michael while he was fishing from a bridge on his 25th birthday.

“I said, ‘Is my son dead?’ And he said, ‘I’m sorry to say,’ said Viccaro. “That was my call. 4:30 in the morning.”

Port Richey father Steve Augello lost his high school senior on her way home from rehearsing a school play. “She wanted to be a journalist. She was accepted at St. Leo’s College, and she was getting all ready to go to college,” he said.

Now their persistence is paying off.

Rep. Jose Oliva is set to be the next Speaker of the House. He wants more than just tickets for people texting and driving. “So I’m fully supporting a driving while distracted law. I think that’s a good thing and it’s necessary. Isolating it to one of many apps on a phone, I think is short sited,” said Miami Rep. Jose Oliva.

Oliva’s support is a major breakthrough for families who’ve lost a loved one and for drivers everywhere.

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