Proposed Fla. Senate bill aims at banning teens driving and using cell phones

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Alex Vericella, a 15-year-old freshman at Port St. Lucie Centennial High School, uses her cell phone all the time. However, she is adamant that there is one time she will never use it: when she drives.

"I will put (my cell phone) at least on silent," said Vericella, who is taking the online portion of drivers education. "I'm gonna put it in any bag I have, whatever backpack or purse that's with me, and I'm gonna put it behind my seat."

Alex's grandmother, Jeannette Weiss, has been looking over the newly-introduced Senate Bill 152, called the "Minor Traffic Safety Act."

It would suspend a teenager's license for 30 days if they drive, and use a cell phone to call or text.

"If it makes a kid stop and think twice, and it saves one life, then it's worth it," said Weiss. "No kid wants to lose their license, for even 30 days."

18-year-old Brittany Jung now drives herself to her hostessing job at a downtown Stuart restaurant. She said it took her a long time to overcome her fear of driving, after her 19-year-old cousin, Kirsten, was killed in a car crash four years ago.

"Her fiance was driving, and he wasn't paying attention," said Jung. "He was recklessly driving, and he got into a car accident. She didn't survive, but he did."

Although Jung said she wishes no teenager would ever use a cell phone while they drive, she feels the proposed bill wouldn't stop teens.

"They're probably going to still do it anyways, " said Jung.

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