Passing bill path to safety

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

As more tires hit the pavement on Shelby County roads, the medians and shoulders of those roads gain decor in the form of wreaths, crosses and memorials.

Teen deaths due to automobile accidents are on the rise, but Shelby County is not alone in this statistic. The state of Alabama is second in the nation for the most teenage deaths related to car accidents.

It&8217;s time that someone recognizes a need for change &045;&045; a group of teenagers have, and, as of last week, so have some of our state&8217;s lawmakers.

The Alabama House of Representatives recognized this need by standing behind a bill that restricts teen driving.

Cell phones and electronic gadgets will be banned, students must be off the roads by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends and only one passenger may ride in the care with them.

While these changes will not eliminate deaths on the highway, it is a step in the right direction to reduce those accidents and make our teens safer.

Just because the House passed the bill, it does not mean these restrictions will become law. The bill still has to be passed by the Senate, a task some are worried will not happen.

Now is the time for us to make these restrictions a high priority. The number of deaths has risen so much over the years that it is hard for any one of us to say that we do not know someone personally affected. We all do.

The House has presented the opportunity for change, and we must now seize that opportunity and tell our state senators how important this bill is to us.

How many teens must die before legislators will act and move the bill up the docket?

The issue needs to be pushed to the top, and passed into law, before more ribbons are left blowing in the wind.