Victim pleads for distracted driving law - CBS46 News

Victim pleads for distracted driving law

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

State lawmakers are considering a bill to address the issue of distracted driving.

You see it all the time on the road. Drivers checking their phone while behind the wheel of a car.

"It's killing people," said Mary Carol Harsch.

Mary Carol Harsch found out the hard way about the dangers of distracted driving.  She lost her husband John of 17 years in April of 2016.

"I learned so much from him about humanity and forgiveness and to keep moving," said Harsch.

John Harsch was an accomplished doctor and avid cyclist who was struck and killed while riding his bicycle. He was hit from behind by a car driven by this man Cleven Ingram. 

"He was on the phone. He was definitely on a telephone call," said Harsch.  

"I don't care what people are doing on their phone. I just want them off their phone," said Rep. John Carson.

State representative John Carson introduced a hands-free bill in the legislature this session to curb the problem. 

"They can touch their phone once to answer a call.  Touch or swipe their phone a second time to end a call and they can still use their phone for GPS navigation," said Carson.

Fifteen states, plus DC have a similar hands-free law and have seen about a 20 percent reduction in fatalities within 2 years of implementing law.

But even still, Carson said some are a stickler for new regulations. He believes there's a little better than a 50-percent chance of the bill becoming law this year. 

"You can save a life and lives if you put down your phone when you get in the car," said Carson.

House Bill 673 came up for discussion in a committee Monday afternoon. But there's only a month and a half remaining in the session and the bill would still have to pass both the house and senate before the governor could sign it into law.

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