Task Force Would Study Distracted Driving

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. February 22, 2013

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Lindsey GIannini and Mike Kellenyi testify before Senate Law and Public Safety Committee (photo by Phil Gregory)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a task force to make recommendations on how to deal with distracted driving.

Washington Township resident Mike Kellenyi says his 18-year-old daughter was killed last year by a distracted driver. He’s hoping the task force could find ways to reduce these sorts of crashes.

 “Kids don’t care anymore. They don’t realize what happens when you take your eyes off the road. So with the task force you want to make and we study and figure out what we can do at the schools with the kids and whatever it would be maybe other parents wouldn’t go through what I’m going through because it is a nightmare.”

Lindsey Giannini is Miss Atlantic County and has been trying to increase awareness about distracted driving.

“Distracted driving in rampant among our youth. Texting especially because it requires all three of the main types of distracted driving, visually taking your eyes off of the road, manually taking your hands off of the road, and mentally taking your mind off of the road.”

Marlton resident John Farrace says his son was killed by a distracted driver in 2007. He supports the formation of the task force but says irresponsible driving will always be an issue.

 “Even people that know my family they still text while they drive, they’re still on the phone while they drive. It’s like nothing has happened at all until it hits them directly and until something like this hits somebody directly they’re not going to phased one bit.”

Supporters of the legislation say tougher penalties for texting and using a phone while driving aren’t enough to deal with the problem.  They’re hoping the task force can recommend ways to avoid distractions and educate drivers about the risks of not being focused on the road.


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