Crash survivor reacts to new texting and driving legislation filed

Florida lawmakers unveil new bill to make texting and driving primary offense

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - More than a year after News 6 first met up with Jeff VanReenen, the crash survivor is reacting to new texting and driving legislation filed.

[RELATED: Mother pleads for an end to texting while driving]

"I'm optimistic because I know you guys don't give up. So kudos to Channel 6," VanReenen said.

VanReenen was run over on April 1, 2013 while shrimping on the Eau Gallie Causeway. Two others were killed.

The driver told investigators that he looked down to check a text message when he lost control of his vehicle.

"Dragged under an SUV, thrown into a concrete wall," VanReenen said. "What if it's your family members? That should hit home."

House Bill 33, sponsored by a Republican and co-sponsored by a Democrat, would allow for officers to pull someone over for texting and driving; a primary offense.

[RELATED: Florida lawmakers unveil new bill to make texting and driving primary offense]

"Something serious as people dying, it takes this long to pass a law. Just seems absurd," VanReenin said. "The aggravation of the cop pulling them over, license, registration, proof of insurance. Holding them up from wherever they were going to, whether it's work, party, dinner wherever. That they will be annoyed enough to give it another thought."

HB 33 has been filed, but nothing has been voted on.

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