After almost 40 years of campaigning against drunk driving, I am launching a campaign against a new hazard: Distracted driving, the fastest-growing cause of traffic fatalities today.
In 1980, my daughter Cari was killed by a multiple-repeat-offender drunk driver who was still driving on a valid California driver’s license. I will never forget being told by the investigating police officer that Cari’s killer would not go to prison or spend any significant time in jail. It opened my eyes to the public’s deadly apathy toward drunk driving.
At the time, drunk driving was the primary cause of a growing number of traffic deaths and injuries. But it was being ignored. So, we campaigned to make drunk driving socially unacceptable. The work of countless volunteers — moms, dads, students and others — helped people understand that drunk driving is a preventable serious crime that affects everyone on our roadways. So today, penalties are stricter. Intoxicated driving is finally seen as shameful and criminally irresponsible. And fatalities caused by drunk driving dropped dramatically.
We need to do the same thing for another deadly yet accepted traffic hazard: