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Family Ties

April 29th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Three families bound together by tragedy have worked tirelessly for years to change traffic laws in Florida, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, their efforts are about to pay off.

The seatbelt bill is being named for Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti. The Red Light Camera bill will carry Mark Wandalls name.

Two teenage girls and a 30 year-old husband, all killed in traffic accidents, are about

to be remembered in state law. Irv Slosberg has spent the 13 years since his daughters death working to tighten seat belt enforcement.

Its a bittersweet victory for me because I lost my daughter,” Irv Slosberg said.

Three years ago, Laura and Vincent Marchetti joined the seat belt fight after their daughter Katie was killed in a one car accident.

She was ejected and run over by another car on 75, and he survived with barely a scratch,” Laura Marchetti said. “He wore a seatbelt.

The measure would allow police to stop a car simply because its occupants arent wearing seatbelts. Right now they have to have another reason.

The fine remains 30 dollars.

Katie Marchettis grandmothers voice still quivers when she talks about her granddaughter.

Youre not supposed to bury your grandchildren,” grandmother Diane Sipe said. “My daughter is not supposed to have buried her daughter. We dont want that to happen to other people.

A second bill would allow cameras to catch red light runners on state roads. Melissa Wandalls husband Mark was killed by a red light runner two weeks before her daughter was born in 2003.

Im not looking back, Im looking forward,” Wandall said. “Im looking forward to the people, the children, like my daughter, who are going to have dads that are coming home at the end of the day, because theyre not going to be killed by red light runners.

Both bills have struggled for years, but because both produce revenue for the state, theyre getting the green light from lawmakers.

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