By the end of the day, an estimated 11 teenagers will lose their lives to distracted driving, and many more will be injured. Wednesday, during their annual Never Text and Drive Day celebration, law firm Warren & Griffin announced the launch of a petition to urge the state legislature to pass a Hands Free Tennessee Bill.
“We’ve had too many families come to us who have experienced harm to a loved one because of distracted driving,” said C. Mark Warren. “We want to do more than bring reactive justice. Rather, we want to do all that we can to proactively protect drivers on Tennessee roads.”
An estimated 3,000 deaths occur each year nationally as a result of distracted driving. Phone use while driving has been cause for major legislative intervention, resulting in the most recent announcement of Georgia’s “Hands Free Law,” which took effect in July.
All drivers in the state of Georgia are prohibited not only from texting while driving but also from touching or holding their phone while operating a vehicle. Georgia is the 16th state to enact this kind of law.
"From July to September, we’ve been running the NVR TXT & DRV campaign in an effort to have every driver commit to never text and drive again,” said Mr. Warren. “We are committed to raising awareness of the extent of this issue, which is why we’re petitioning the state to do more and pass a law like Georgia.”
By proclamation from the city mayor, Sept. 19 is designated as Never Text and Drive Day in Chattanooga. Warren and Griffin hosts an annual event to celebrate this day. Wednesday, community members took the pledge to NVR TXT & DRV, played games at the law firm’s offices and gathered with other community members over refreshments.
“We can’t wait for this issue to harm our own families before we make a change,” said Mr. Warren. “Waiting to respond to a text message or call is a small price to pay in order to save a life. Change starts with each of us daily committing to focus while we’re on the road. That’s what is going to make a difference. That’s why we started this pledge and that’s why we’re asking the state to pass a Hands Free Law.”
Anyone interested in signing the petition should visit http://www.warrenandgriffin.com/support-a-hands-free-law-in-tennessee.