State pushes for stricter texting and driving laws

NAPLES, Fla. — Distracted driving crashes are increasing throughout Florida and state lawmakers want to thwart the trend with harsher penalties.

Last year, over 200 people died as a result of distracted driving in the state and thousands more were injured.

Texting and driving is already illegal in dozens of states, including Florida.

However, that doesn’t stop drivers from texting, especially when the penalty is merely a $30 fine.

“A lot of people do it around here,” said Kristina, a driver who didn’t want to reveal her last name. “I did it on the way here. I know it’s wrong and it’s not good.”

Texting and driving is currently a secondary offense, meaning an officer would have to pull drivers over for another infraction, such as speeding, before ticketing them for texting.

Lawmakers are pushing to make texting and driving a primary offense in Florida by July 2017.

Reporter:Olivia Mancino
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