• Hands-Free Press Conference Thursday 9.26 at 11:00 am – ROOM A-2

    By TextLess Live More | Posted Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Families and Victims of Distracted Driving Demand MA Senate Enact a Hands-Free Bill on or before this Thursday, September 26, 2019

Call on Senate President Spilka to Direct Senate Conferees to Sign the Compromised Bill before End of Day Today

September 26 Press Conference at 11:00 am at the MA State House – 1st Fl in Room A-2

SENATE PRESIDENT SPILKA HOLDS UP

HANDS-FREE BILL.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. 

 Families and Victims of Distracted Driving Demand MA Senate Enact a

Hands-Free Bill on or before this Thursday, September 26, 2019

BOSTON: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – Safe Roads Alliance, TextLess Live More, along with survivors and families of distracted driving victims, are uniting to demand that Senate President Spilka move to enact a Hands-Free Bill immediately.

We are calling on Senate President Spilka to direct her conferees to sign the compromised bill before end of day today. If this cannot happen by tonight, then we expect the Senate to agree to report in part, signing a public safety hands-free bill immediately, and continue to work on the data measures in conference committee.

We are waiting for Chairman Boncore to stand up and be a leader. He has the responsibility as Chairman of the Transportation Committee to address this public safety issue.

We applaud Speaker DeLeo and his colleagues in the House for their commitment to passing a hands-free bill into law.

On July 31st, the Joint House/Senate conference committee reached “an agreement in principle,” yet Senate President Spilka stopped it in its tracks. In the 55 days since the failure to release a final bill, there has been a draft bill awaiting signatures, sitting in the House Clerk’s office. Once this is signed by at least 2 Senate conferees, this bill will be easily signed into law by Governor Baker.

The House, the Senate, and Governor Baker all strongly support hands-free. A recent poll by MassINC showed that 79 percent of Massachusetts voters support a Hands-Free law. Our advocates and families demand that the will of the people, in the interest of public safety, be honored.

The public is incensed about these delays. We hear from our members and survivors of distracted driving crashes daily, who are outraged and confused as to why this bill has not yet been signed into law. The purpose of this bill is simple – to remove the phone from drivers’ hands. There is no disagreement about this part of the bill.

We have been told that this delay is a result of minor differences in the language around data collection and analysis. We support the data collection language currently in the bill. But we cannot accept any longer that a new issue raised by the Senate regarding data collection is holding up the passage of this vital public safety legislation.

Massachusetts continues to fall behind other states in road safety, which is unconscionable. Twenty other states have a hands-free law, with Maine going into effect just last week. We remain the only state in New England without an enforceable distracted driving law.

We cannot let people continue to die or be injured on our roads; we will hold our lawmakers accountable, and we’re not going away until there is a bill on Governor Baker’s desk.

 

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 SCHEDULE

 

11:00                        MA STATE HOUSE – 1st FLOOR ROOM A-2

                                       Families, Victims, Advocates Gather

11:00 – 11:30           PRESS CONFERENCE

  • Emily Stein, President, Safe Roads Alliance. Stein lost her father to a distracted driver
  • Richard Levitan, President TextLess Live More. Levitan lost his daughter Merritt to a distracted driver
  • Jerry Cibley, End Distracted Driving Advocate. Cibley lost his son Jordan to distracted driving. Recipient of the 2011 NHTSA Public Service Award for his work in traffic safety.
  • Jillian Kaplan, Survivor of distracted driving crash

***Legislators and legislative staff are encouraged to join Families, Victims and Advocates

 

About Safe Roads Alliance

Safe Roads Alliance was formed in 2006 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through better driving. SRA provides educational services to drivers on different aspects of driving safety, including: issues confronting teen drivers, seat belt usage, and distracted driving. They have worked for the past decade to pass a hands-free law in MA, are members of the Vision Zero Coalition in Massachusetts, Road to Zero nationwide, and they collaborate with dozens of road safety groups and advocates across the country. SRA publishes The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, which is distributed at no-cost in 25 states, and they are excited to announce the future launch of a new distracted driving program for students age 8-12 called “Kids Speaking Up for Road Safety”. It will be a free resource for teachers nationwide, available in February 2020. http://www.saferoadsalliance.org

CONTACT: Emily Stein [email protected]         617.417.3689

 

About TextLess Live More

TextLess Live More, a student-led, national awareness campaign to end distracted driving, founded in honor of Merritt Levitan, an 18 year old young woman, killed by a distracted driver in July 2013. Recognizing digital distraction and distracted driving as the critical issue facing their generation, Levitan’s high school friends at Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts founded TextLess Live More.  TextLess Live More’s mission is to end distracted driving, prevent crashes associated with distracted driving, and save lives. TextLess Live More is a partner of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), the nation’s premier youth health and safety organization, and has been presented to schools and communities nationally.  www.textlesslivemore.org

CONTACT:  Anna Cheshire Levitan [email protected] 617.571.7823

 

 

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