Date: October 19, 2017
Dear Commissioner Egan:
My Name is Candace Lightner and I am the President and founder of We Save Lives. I am also the Founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
I founded MADD after my 13 year-old daughter, Cari Lightner, was killed by a hit and run multiple repeat offender drunk driver. He was still driving on a valid California driver’s license and I was told would “probably” not be incarcerated for her death. Clearly, the system was broken and needed changing. Drunk driving had become the fodder for late night comedians, nothing more than a joke, with little or no accountability and accepted by everyone as an everyday occurrence. I set out to change all that. And I did, despite major obstacles especially the attitude that drunk driving was socially acceptable.
We have the same problem with distracted driving. There is little or no accountability, everybody drives distracted and it has become socially acceptable.
We can change all that. One way of reducing distracted driving crashes is increasing the threat of accountability. That is why we need to allow devices like the Textalyzer to become an integral component of our criminal justice system and another tool for law enforcement to use when trying to get these dangerous drivers off the roads.
Anyone serious about affecting change needs to understand that identifying the problem is essential but currently, it is next to impossible for law enforcement to prove this behavior unless the driver admits to using their cell phone while driving.
I would be willing to bet that everyone in this room has been affected by cell phone use while driving. Either you know someone who has been injured or killed or you know someone who uses their cell phone while behind the wheel or you yourself do it. We can make distracted driving a thing of the past with your help.
I urge this committee to think of the safety of their constituents, their family and friends and find a way to implement this legislation (S2306 / A3959) so that we can provide our law enforcement with proper and effective deterrents. There will be those who will always find something wrong with any life-saving legislation introduced so let’s work together to make this work.
The Textalyzer is a good idea. Please let us know how We Save Lives can help you implement this legislation.
Candace Lightner, President and Founder of We Save Lives