Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teen driving laws: Demand action TODAY

Today is the last day the Pennsylvania Senate will be in session until May 24.
Today is the last day until after the primary election for state senators to vote on a law that can save the lives of teenagers.
Today is the last day before another three weeks go by for Pottsgrove mothers Karen Cantamaglia and Marlene Case to convince legislators that not another teen should die in a car crash.
Today is the last day before the campaign break to tell every state senator in Pennsylvania to join the cause of saving teenagers’ lives.
House Bill 67 is at the top of the calendar list of bills awaiting state Senate action for today. Sadly, it’s at the top not because it is the most important to legislators but because it’s on its third go-round without yet becoming law.
The bill, known as Lacey’s Law, proposes teen driving in honor of Lacey Gallagher, who was killed in a crash on the way to a post-prom party in 2007. Lacey was riding in a carload of teens when the vehicle crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Like Lacey Gallagher, Michael Cantamaglia and Andrew Case were riding in vehicles of six or more teens, as were Breanne Brothers and Andrea Antonio-Harris of Pottstown, whose crash deaths occurred just 20 days after Case and Cantamaglia.
Karen Cantamaglia and Marlene Case went to Harrisburg Monday to plead for passage of House Bill 67. They asked the state Senate to pass the bill now, before another teen dies.
Amendments have been proposed for House Bill 67 that go beyond what safe-driving advocates believe is necessary. Legislators in more rural areas of Pennsylvania want amendments put into the bill that ease passenger restrictions.
This legislation is too important to be delayed any further, and teens’ lives are too important to see the restrictions watered down. Pennsylvania is among the most lax states in the nation for teen driving laws, and teens are paying the price.
House Bill 67 should come to the Senate floor for a vote without amendment to weaken the provisions. It should come to a vote today.
Email every state senator today:
“As a constituent of Pennsylvania, I demand that House Bill 67 become law and that it limit to one the number of non-family passengers in a car driven by a teen.
“This law is critical to the well-being of our young drivers and their passengers. It is critical to parents, teachers, police, and every citizen of Pennsylvania.”
Send this message this morning to every state senator and tell them saving lives is more important than carpooling convenience. Tell them this cause is too important to delay.
The tragic circumstances that took the lives of Lacey Gallagher, Michael Cantamaglia, Andrew Case, Breanne Brothers and Andrea Antonio-Harris should be forbidden by law.
We demand action now.
Copy this message and email to every state senator.

For more information, read our series, "Tragedy in Numbers."

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