Two years after losing her daughter in a fatal car wreck, Gina Harris has decided to fight in support of legislation in the hopes of preventing a similar tragedy.
No, she's not fighting against drunk drivers or, immigrants without driver's licenses. She's fighting to get a bill passed that would make it a crime to use a cell phone while driving. Ironically, it was her daughter, Honeybee Cheerleader Brittanie Montgomery, who was on the phone December 21, 2006 when she lost control of the car and went into on-coming traffic.
"It was a rule that she was not allowed to drive and talk at the same time," says Harris. She said she had spoken to her daughter about doing that since she was 15 years old. "To lose her at the age of 19 to technology just befuddles me. It's amazing, I can't grasp it."
Harris spent Tuesday morning meeting with legislators in the hopes of getting House Bill 2597 out of committee and onto the floor for a vote. Representative Paul Wesselhoft, who authored the bill, says he's had no opposition.
"The law says right now on our books that 100 percent of your attention must be devoted to your driving," says Wesselhoft. "Unfortunately I don't think the highway patrol is actually pulling over people who are on the cell phone."
"This bill, I believe, would be a deterrent and it will save lives."