Kelly Willenberg is sponsoring this year's Safe Streets Legislative Agenda. When we asked her why she values this legislative agenda, this was her answer:
- I am a "Top of the Podium" sponsor for many reasons and I want to share with you my passion for supporting the Palmetto Cycling Coalition. My husband loved cycling. He called it his "mental health" time and was happier when he was able to bike at some point each day. For over 25 years, he cycled nearly every day. Owning a road bike, racing bike and a mountain bike, gave him full advantage of his hobby. Cyclists today take their lives into their own hands each and every time they get on the road. The driving community is more engaged in their hand held devices now more than ever. This practice is teaching our children the wrong way to drive. Since South Carolina does not have real consequences when a motorist injures or kills a cyclist, more cyclists will continue to be seriously hurt, or even die from their injuries. In 2017, when Dale was hit and killed, at least 3,166 lives were lost due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to SCDOI, we rank in the top 5 for fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. We rank 5th in careless driving and 11th in speeding. Unfortunately, the Palmetto State ranks in the top 10 for having the worst drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We must do something as a community to prevent these tragedies from being commonplace.