Legislation to save lives

Published 12:22 am Friday, May 22, 2009

This week, another teen driver was tragically killed in a one-vehicle accident in Montgomery. Our thoughts and prayers go to her family, which is faced with a loss no parent should have to bear. This death and the injury of two other young people in the car with her only highlight once again the need for a tougher graduated driver license law in this state.

Legislation this session was proposed by Sen. Quinton Ross and Rep. Mac Gipson that would have placed additional restrictions on 16- year-old drivers, including: no driving while using a hand-held device, no driving after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 on weekends and no more than one unrelated person in their vehicle at any time.

Unfortunately, like other worthy legislation, this bill was not given consideration on the Senate floor. Other states have passed graduated driver license legislation and their teen death rates have fallen as much as 40 percent. This statistic should give Alabamians pause, considering we are second in the nation in teen vehicular deaths. When voting in 2010, let’s all remember the power we have to change our state leaders so Alabama can be the state it can and should be.

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Christy Mehaffey

Director, Children First Foundation