“Take Action and Keep Others from Driving Dangerously”
March 29, 2021
The Honorable Terry Canales, Chair
The Honorable Ed Thompson, Vice Chair
Texas House of Representatives, Transportation Committee
Austin, Texas 78768
Dear Representative Canales, Representative Thompson, and all Members of the Texas House Transportation Committee,
On behalf of We Save Lives, a national non-profit, focusing on drunk, drugged and distracted driving and the Drop the “A” Word coalition, we are asking for your support for HB 3325, legislation that would change the word “accident” to “crash” within the Texas Transportation Code.
We, the undersigned, all support and encourage the Texas Legislature to make this change in the Texas Transportation Code. Research shows that “accident” carries a connotation, or an implication, that crashes are unavoidable and without fault. That is not true.
The use of “accident” denies accountability to those who have made reckless and dangerous driving choices and is often used by defense attorneys to excuse their client’s irresponsible choices. It is also offensive to victims and survivors of these horrific crashes and attempts to diminish the impact these crashes and crimes have on their families. Please see our video.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) reality, and research, shows that the vast majority of roadway crashes are the result of behavior that would predictably lead to an increase in the likelihood of these instances. Those who drive under the influence, distracted, or aggressively, among other behaviors, are consciously acting in a manner that is universally known to increase the chance of an event that could kill and injure innocent victims. They choose to drive in this manner. Somehow the word “accident” doesn’t seem appropriate for such dangerous and reckless behavior. A good example is that of my daughter’s death by a multiple repeat offender drunk driver. He killed her after being released from jail after another hit and run drunk driving crash, threw her 125 feet, then left her in the road to die. Would you call that an accident? I think not.
We encourage you to support HB 3325 and to change the Texas Transportation Code by substituting words that more accurately reflect the circumstances of roadway incidents, words that do not carry unintended implications. Instead of accident, we encourage you to use “crash.” The word “crash” is an accurate, simple descriptor of the physicality or circumstance of a roadway incident.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Candace Lightner – President – We Save Lives (Founder of MADD)
Jeff Larason – President – Safe Roads Alliance
Deborah A.P. Hersman – President & CEO – National Safety Council
Nancy Johnson – Legislative Liaison and past President – Minnesotans for Safe Driving
Penny Wells – CEO – SADD National
Lee Erikson – State Coordinator – Minnesota / Northern Lights SADD
Jessica Smith – State Coordinator – Arizona SADD
Danielle Branciforte – Florida SADD and Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition
Corinne Shea – Director of Programs – Institute for Behavior and Health
Ed Wood – President – DUID Victim Voices
Janet Brooking – Executive Director – DriveSmart Virginia
Sharon Sikora – Vice President – Victim Advocate – We Save Lives
Jennifer Freedman Smith – Executive Director – Stop Distractions
Jerri Dye Lynch – Founder – In Honor of Conor
Karen Bowman – Founder, Executive Director – Drop it and Drive
Tom Everson – Keep Kids Alive Drive 25″
Bill Downs and Julie President & Co-Founder – Advocates for Victims of Impaired Driving
Phyllis E. Talbot – DUI Program Supervisor – Polk, Highlands, & Hardee counties, Florida
Joel Feldmen and Dianne Anderson Founders – End Distracted Driving (EndDD)
Chike Nwaka – Founder/President – Road Crash Victims’ Foundation
Laura McLeod – Executive Director – Florida Association of DUI Programs, Inc.
Ginger and Larry Katz – Founders – The Courage to Speak Foundation
William Michael Piecuch, Jr. – Founder and President – Teens Against Drunk Driving
Dr. Richard Roth – Researcher – Impact DUI
Steve Talpins – Founder -The National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime
Jacy Good – Survivor Advocate – Hang Up and Drive
Dee Brant – Vice President – Families Against Chronic Excessive Speed (FACES)
Dr. Ken Druck – Founder – The Jenna Druck Center
Kevin Sabet – Co-Founder – Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Jennifer Zamora-Jamison – Founder – Decide to Drive
Anita Boles – CEO – National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS)