What happens to a 60 pound, 7 year old body when 5,000 pounds of SUV slam into it, 30 feet from its home? It shatters into little pieces. Then a young mother helplessly holds her daughter while she dies.
Erica Shelly, Age 7, November 2008
When a fully loaded 18 wheeler crashes into the back of a school bus, what happens? It explodes into flames leaving panicked high school students scrambling to get out. Fortunately out of 21 students, 20 were saved. One died of her burns.
Margay Shee, Age 13, September 2008
What happens when an 18 year old drives her car into oncoming traffic? Massive head injuries are listed as the cause of death.
Maria West, Age 18, May 2008
If you put a small car on a wet highway, traveling at high speeds and it skids into a school bus, what is the outcome? A young, pregnant woman and her unborn baby are dead and her best friend, the driver, is sent to jail.
Nikki Pomon, Age 19, April 2009
There’s carnage on our highways that must be stopped. The irresponsible stupidity of texting while driving was the cause of all of these tragedies. Three of them were victims of other’s carelessness. In the case of Nikki Pomon, the friend doing the driving had texted 32 messages in the hour before she died.
Statistics are all too often human beings with the tears wiped dry. Last year 6,000 people died in this country because of distracted driving. More than 500,000 others were injured. Yet, in Pennsylvania, life is cheap. While the state house has passed a ban on texting while driving, the senate is considering a $50 fine for taking your eyes off the road. How many more have to die before Harrisburg takes action?
Television personality Oprah Winfrey has launched a national campaign called "No Phone Zone" for Friday April 30. It calls for all hand held devices to be turned off in cars and trucks on that day. Celebrities like Sir Elton John have signed on. While we don’t usually run in this pack, we’ve taken Oprah’s pledge. So should you. You can ignore this effort as just some liberal plea for more government intrusion in your life but then someday your child might become just another statistic.
Albert Paschall is Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research a non profit educational foundation with offices in Harrisburg and King Of Prussia. Dianne Ryan Paschall is a former publisher of The Main Line Times and The Suburban & Wayne Times. Somedays is syndicated to leading newspapers and radio stations in Pennsylvania. [email protected] (717) 671-0776
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