Father of son killed by distracted driver visits Tallahassee high school

Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 13:31:44-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - Legislation is once again being filed at the state capitol to make texting while driving a primary traffic offense in Florida.

Traveling the state to warn high school students about the dangers of driving while distracted.

Under current Florida state law, texting while driving is a secondary traffic offense, meaning a motorist can only be cited if they are stopped for another reason, such as speeding.

Demetrius Branca's 19-year-old son, Anthony, was killed just over three years ago when the motorcycle he was driving was run over by a van whose driver was not paying attention to the road.

Branca regularly travels across Florida, warning the state's youngest drivers about the dangers of using their cell phone while behind the wheel. Branca was at John Paul II Catholic High School in Tallahassee Monday.

He says, nearly all of today's teens have cell phones as a part of their daily lives, and with no law stopping them from texting while driving, many don't see the problem until it is too late.

"It's really common sense," said Branca. "I think that once people recognize the dangers of distracted driving, there is no hesitation about what's the right thing to do. That's to put your phone down. Hopefully, the Florida legislature this year will pass a bill that's not a toothless, weak excuse for a bill."

Florida is one of only five states where texting and driving is not a primary violation.

This year's legislation has passed one of four senate committee stops ahead of the 2018 session which begins in January.