Texas Cheerleaders Lead Campaign for Distracted Driving Ban to Honor One of Their Own

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The students of Champion Cheer All Stars cheerleading gym have collected over 4,000 signatures in one week on a petition asking the Texas legislature to ban people from driving while using an electronic device.

They lost one of their own to a tragic crash believed to be caused by a distracted driver, as explained on their petition:

In the evening of April 9th, 2016, an accident occurred in Denton that took the lives of two mothers and two daughters. It happened so quickly that neither mother had a chance to brake. The accident took the lives of 41 year old Emma Lourdes Shaffer, 12 year old Emma “Tita” Shaffer, 26 year old Ashley Morgan, and 4 year old Lorelei Cotter. Two sons were left without their mother. Two men lost the loves of their lives.

Texas is one of the last states — there’s only four left — without a ban of some kind on driving while using a cell phone, according to KHOU. The Legislature did pass a ban once, but former governor Rick Perry vetoed it.

We’re living with the consequences of inaction. In 2015, 476 people died in Texas from crashes caused by distracted driving, according to TXDOT. Most likely, about 500 will die again this year.

While there is increasing pressure for the Legislature to act to save lives like Tita and Lorelei’s, conservative Republicans in the Texas Senate are posturing to block any bill, because they think these 476 deaths are a reasonable consequence of avoiding the encroachment of a “nanny state.”

You can join cheerleaders (and nannies) across the state who want to end these deaths by signing and sharing the petition today.

This post is made possible by a grant from Sutliff & Stout, an accident and injury law firm in Houston Texas. The content is Streetsblog’s own, and Sutliff & Stout neither endorses nor exercises any editorial control.