Mom's Mission to Ban Cell Phone Use in Cars | Families

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Mom's Mission to Ban Cell Phone Use in Cars

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A local tine mother is pushing for new state laws after her daughter was killed in a bus crash.
Police reports show the driver of the other vehicle was distracted by his cell phone.

Elissa Schee said she struggles to make sense of her daughter's sudden death.

"I never in a million years imagined that I would send her to school that morning and she would never come home."

In 2008, Schee's 13-year-old daughter, Margay Schee, was on her school bus in Marion County.  As kids were getting off the bus to go home, it was hit by a semi.

Both vehicles caught fire. Schee said witnesses frantically tried to pull the 21 students out.

"There was a white picket fence all the kids were lined up on that fence. But not Margay, and I knew that Margay was in trouble," she said. 

Schee's daughter was the only one who didn't survive.  Investigators said the driver of the semi was distracted by his cell phone.

"He was on his phone and he dropped his phone and bent down to pick the phone up and came up and rear-ended the bus at almost 60 miles an hour," said Schee. 

Schee has now made it her life's mission to ban cell phone use in cars. She's one of five founding members of a national group called Focus Driven.  The group recently returned from a trip to D.C. where each member shared how distracted driving killed their loved one. Schee said lawmakers kept saying they're looking for a solution to the problem. 

"We don't need to wait for a solution. The solution is available, it's on your phone. It's o-f-f.  Turn it off.  Drive.  Get to where you're going," she said.

Florida does not have a ban on phone use while driving.

According to the Highway Safety Administration, eight states ban handheld cell phone use, 28 states have a ban on cell phone use for inexperienced drivers and 30 states have a ban on texting and driving.

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