Florida lawmaker proposes bill: Text and kill, face murder charges

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Drivers could be charged with murder if they are texting while driving and cause a death.

That is the push behind a new bill in Tallahassee.

Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, has proposed the legislation along with Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, whose daughter was killed in a car crash.

The bill would allow prosecutors to charge drivers with vehicular homicide if they kill someone while texting
behind the wheel.

"I was troubled by the fact that some folks merely got probation or a ticket. Certainly, we need more consistency and harsher punishments than that," Soto said.

Sen. Soto said his research showed drivers get charged with a wide variety of offenses for killing someone while texting and driving.  He wants Florida to have equal justice.

"We've seen in our research, inconsistent results. Everything from a ticket to probation, to vehicular homicide
and so we want to make sure that the punishment fits the crime and that we're not having inconsistent justice in our state," Soto added.

Under the proposed bill, a person convicted would face 15 years in prison.

Several texting-while-driving bills are up for debate in the upcoming legislative session.

Florida does not have any restrictions on texting behind the wheel.

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