TYSONS, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - There is a last ditch effort underway to try and ban cell phone use while driving in Virginia. A bill to do so failed to pass the General Assembly — but safety advocates are asking for help from the governor.
On Wednesday night, FOX 5’s Lauren DeMarco spoke with some of the advocates pushing for change. Their stories make you stop and think.
Mindy Schulz is still recovering from severe injuries she received back in 2016 when a driver hit her and her infant son Tristan while she was pushing their stroller through a Lansdowne intersection.
“My five-month-old, 18-pound baby boy was run over by an SUV,” said Schulz. “There’s no reason he shouldn’t have seen us."
John Miller was sentenced to 12 months in jail and served about six.
Schulz volunteers with the group DRIVE SMART Virginia, which sent a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday. Right now, there’s a bill on his desk that would ban handheld devices in construction zones. DRIVE SMART Virginia is asking he not only sign it but add an amendment banning handheld devices on all Virginia roads.
Delegate Marcus Simon was one of the lawmakers to vote no to the bill, but says if the governor adds an amendment with the correct language he would support it.
“We’ve got to do something. People are dying every day in Virginia because somebody is distracted,” said Christina Dempsey.
She lost her sister, niece and her sister’s boyfriend's daughter in what she believes was a distracted driving crash. She says it’s heartbreaking that it’s taken this long to get legislation passed.
“It’s not going to completely stop it, but it will help hold people accountable for their actions,” said Dempsey.
Like Dempsey, Schulz would like to see that these tragedies inspire change.
“There’s not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t ache, that I don’t feel his absence,” said Schulz. “Gov. Northam, at this point you are the only person who can and who has the responsibility to do so. Make the amendment and save Virginia roadways. Please stop distracted driving.”