TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would toughen penalties for people who cause fatal accidents while texting behind the wheel.

SB 1078, approved by the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee, is based on a texting-while-driving ban that lawmakers passed last year.

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Drivers who cause fatal accidents while violating the texting-while-driving ban would face second-degree felony charges. Also, the charges could be upgraded to first-degree felonies if the drivers knew accidents occurred and failed to provide information and aid.

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The bill, sponsored by Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, has been assigned to three other committees before it could reach the Senate floor.

The House version (HB 1253) is ready to go to the full House.

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“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”