Distracted Driving Kills and Could Land You Behind Bars

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Hundreds of teens from around the state heard firsthand what can happen to families when they drive drunk or distracted. One lawmaker wants to send you away for 30 years if you kill someone while texting.

These young drivers, at the Capitol for Safe Driving Week, saw what can happen when not wearing a seatbelt.

Gretchen Bethel, a Jacksonville Teen Driver, says it makes an impression.
"It was scary"
Reporter: Why
"Just seeing like what not wearing one little strap can do to you."

But the harshest message came from families who've lost a loved one. Gary Catronio lost his daughter Marisa when an impaired driver drove the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway last November.

You knew you were in no proper state of mind or condition to drive that vehicle, but you did it. Because of that naivety that evening my daughter's no longer with us. We only have memories."

State Representative Irv Slosberg created a foundation after his daughter Dori was killed a decade ago. "They're punching in things on their GPS..." Now Slosberg has filed a bill that would put someone behind bars for up to 30 years if they kill someone while texting and driving.

Slosberg successfully put Florida’s first texting while driving laws on the books last year, making it a secondary offense.

"You shouldn't be texting and driving, it's a free for all out there."

The fraternity brothers who lost four of their own killed on I-275 in a wrong way crash, said they hope something positive comes from the deaths.

"They're the brothers we hang out with every day, we saw them earlier that day and then to know you'll never see them again is just an indescribable feeling," Rah Patel, USF Student, said.

Automated signs like this that flash and call 911 will go up in Miami and Orlando early this summer.

A similar pilot in Texas cut wrong way crashes by a third. Slosberg successfully put Florida’s first texting while driving laws on the books last year, making it a secondary offense.


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