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Justice for Zachary: New bill proposed to increase punishment for distracted drivers

Chances are you may have been distracted driving at some point today, whether it was checking your phone, putting on makeup, or eating.

Chances are you may have been distracted driving at some point today, whether it was checking your phone, putting on makeup, or eating.

Our legislators think it's time to be more aware and a new bill is being proposed that would increase the consequences for distracted drivers.

"When you see a baby that's hooked up to life support with a brace around their neck and tubes out of every orifice that he had...it's just something you don't get out of your head," said Cassie Vance.

On June 5, 2016, her son Zachary was on the brink of death.

The car seat he was in was compacted on impact, folding him up like a book. This happened because a distracted driver ran into the back of their car at 65 mph while they were sitting at a red light.

"I ran out of the car and was screaming 'my baby, my baby' because we tried for years to get pregnant and miscarried our first one. So he was truly a miracle to begin with," said Vance.

Zachary was rushed to intensive care where they found multiple brain bleeds. He had to stay in intensive care for 16 days and will require check ups for the rest of his life.

All of that added up quickly to $242,000 worth of bills.

The woman who ran into the back of the car Vance was driving can't be found.

The day of the accident; her insurance was invalid, address on the ID invalid, and her registration was expired. She walked away with a few tickets.

In Georgia, the fine for a distracted driver is $150, but Zachary's family is hoping to change that.

"And when I got to hold the little guy I promised him I'm going to make this right," said his grandfather, David Forsee.

With this bill, their goal is to increase the punishment for distracted driving because "nobody need to go through [what our family did.] That phone is not worth anybody's life," he said.

The family's one request is to put your phone down because you never know how this one action could change somebody else's life.

The bill is being written and should be introduced this coming week.

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