Moms

Blogger turns tragedy into law with proposed 'Brian Garlock Act'

Tammy Garlock’s son Brian was killed in a automobile accident on June 12, 2008. At the time of the accident, Brian was distracted while using his cell phone to make a call - something his mother hopes to help prevent with the introduction of the Brain Garlock Act which would make North Carolina a “hands-free” state.
Tammy Garlock’s son Brian was killed in a automobile accident on June 12, 2008. At the time of the accident, Brian was distracted while using his cell phone to make a call - something his mother hopes to help prevent with the introduction of the Brain Garlock Act which would make North Carolina a “hands-free” state. Tammy Garlock

I peer out a sea of faces, some perfectly clear, others not… The ones I see wear a variety of expressions, ranging from interested and attentive, bored but awake, to antsy and elsewhere… Each time I step to the front of a room, I wonder…can I do this one more time? Will I be able to reach someone in this group? I never truly know the answer to either question until after it’s done. Even then, I’m not so sure…

Six years, thousands of teens and more than 100,000 Brian bracelets later, the task at hand is as daunting as ever… Time and again, I am reminded that public perception is wrong-it’s not just young drivers who are at risk because of distracted driving-we ALL are. From the commentary in every classroom I’ve visited to what I’ve personally witnessed as an interstate traveler and dirt road dweller…the epidemic continues to spread…

Indeed, the instructor of a driver’s education class I visited last week was recently involved in a rear-end collision. He was completely stopped at the top of an exit ramp when a lady plowed into the back of his car. Evidently she was focused on her phone instead of the road; as he approached her window afterward to see if she was okay, he noticed her phone still tightly gripped in her hands…

For so long I felt like one of too few voices crying out in the wilderness against this dangerous behavior; however I am thrilled to say many more are now taking a stand…

On March 24, 2015 Senator Jeff Tarte and Senator Stan Bingham filed Senate Bill 393, also known as the “Brian Garlock Act”. This bill proposes to change North Carolina to a “hands-free” state. You can still use your phone, but it must be done in a way that does not require actually holding it in your hands.

I firmly believe this is a step in the right direction…

I know there will be opposition to this proposed legislation; last year when this was initially contemplated, there were more than a few unkind comments directed towards Brian, his intelligence and my family.

I fully expect it will happen again.

It’s okay. We will accept and forgive whatever negative opinions and criticisms hurled in our direction if it means another family will be spared the tragedy that is our experience…

It really IS quite simple: distracted driving does not discriminate. It impacts us all.

Friends, today I am asking for your assistance. In addition to deliberately driving cell phone distraction free, use your voice to help bring about this important change. Please take a couple of minutes and write our lawmakers to tell them safe driving is important for everyone’s sake. Ask them to support the Brian Garlock Act. This proposed law is an important step that must be taken in order to make North Carolina’s roads safer, prevent injuries and ultimately save lives.

Because no one should ever lose their life over the press of a button…

**To find contact information for your area legislators, please follow this link:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/NCGAInfo/directories/directories.html

Click on ‘Legislative Staff Email Query’, type in the name and click search; -OR-

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx to search by county (scroll down to find search menu).

With many thanks! -tg

rememberbrian@mindspring.com On Twitter: @briansmom061208

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