Parents of distracted driving victims push for updated driving laws

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The loved ones of those who died from distracted driving accidents are urging lawmakers to update the state’s driving laws.

In an emotional news conference, the mothers, fathers, husbands and wives of those who died from distracted drivers pleaded with lawmakers to take action now, before another life is taken too soon.

A group of hands-free driving advocates told personal stories about the people they loved, sharing their dreams for the future and remembering the legacy they’ve left behind.

“Since the death of Jordan our lives as we knew it was forever changed,” Jerry Cibley said. “Jordan’s beloved family and friends never got to see him graduate form high school, we never had the pleasure to watch him grow from a teenager into a man, his dream of becoming a photo journalist was expunged.”

According to national data, there were 1.5 million distracted driving crashes in the U.S. last year. Several of those crash survivors also gathered at Statehouse to share their stories.

“When my driver was charged the judge did not want to take away his license because he quote on quote thought it would be an inconvenience for him. Meanwhile, I spent a month in the hospital, 14 weeks out of work and 12 weeks completely wheelchair bound,” Jillian Kaplan said.

The House and Senate both agree on the hands-free component of a new distracted driving bill, but they have yet to pass one due to a racial profiling concern regarding data collection.

As of right now, Massachusetts is the only New England state to not have a law like this in place.

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