Mother of Teen Killed While Driving Distracted Pushes for Hands-Free Law in Alabama
ALABAMA – August 20, 2018 (timesdaily.com) As reported online by timesdaily.com, a mother who lost her daughter to distracted driving is pushing for Alabama to pass a Hands-Free law. Georgia’s Hands-Free Law went into effect last month and has been successful.*
On February 22, 17-year-old Camryn Callaway died in an accident caused by texting while driving. “She was coming home from work on I-65, and she had picked up her phone to text her friend about a birthday party that weekend,” said Callaway’s mother, Michelle Lunsford. “She took her eyes off the road, looked back up, and ran right into the back of a tractor-trailer truck stopped for construction work.”
In coping with her loss, Lunsford has started pushing for a Hands-Free law to come to Alabama. She has reached out to several state senators to try to get such a bill introduced during the 2019 session. Currently, Alabama has a ban on texting while driving, but officers say it is hard to enforce. When officers see someone using their phone in the car, it is hard to tell whether they are texting or engaging in an activity that’s not prohibited, like pulling up navigation.
In July, Georgia started enforcing its Hands-Free Law, which prohibits all hand-held use of electronic devices while driving. Drivers must use hands-free technology or be legally parked in order to use electronic devices in their cars. Georgia Rep. John Carson was instrumental in the passage of the law and said since it went into effect, fatality accidents in Georgia have dropped 10 percent.
“That is the first decrease [in fatalities] of any substantial amount in eight years,” Carson said. “It’s working, that’s the beauty of it. It’s saving lives. That was the intent.”
It remains to be seen whether Lunsford will be successful in advocating for Alabama to follow Georgia’s lead in decreasing distracted driving fatalities.
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