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Florida step closer to ban on texting while driving

Florida is one step closer to becoming the 40th state to ban texting while driving.

Lawmakers passed a state-wide texting while driving ban Thursday afternoon. The law would make it illegal to type or read texts while driving, although it would be okay to do so while stopped.

A Crestview man knows all too well how dangerous texting and driving can be.

There were more than 4,000 texting related crashes last year and for those who've lost a loved one to texting and driving, this bill is a step in the right direction.

Lawrence Fine knows all too well the dangers of texting while driving. His niece 18-year-old Megan Warman died two years ago after a rollover wreck. She was texting when the crash happened.

"It's important that nobody gets hurt from this. It can be prevented."

While she was still in a coma, Fine brought her shattered car to the parking lot of Crestview High School, wanting students to understand the risk of texting behind the wheel.

Since then, he's visited several schools around the county, talking about what happened to Megan.

"Megan had her seatbelt on, at least it would have been a chance she'd still be with us."

Lawmakers have been trying to ban texting and driving for years, with little luck.

This bill would make texting and driving a secondary offense, meaning police would have to pull the driver over for something else first. 

And Fine is happy to see lawmakers taking action and believes texting and driving should be a primary offense.

"I'm glad to see. We weren't making progress before," Fine said.

The bill is now on Governor Scott's desk. If he signs, the law would go into effect October 1.