Grieving Father Pushes Anti-Texting While Driving Laws

This article is more than 9 years old.
(poka0059/Flickr)
(poka0059/Flickr)

On Thursday, Massachusetts will become the latest state to enact laws designed to cut down on distracted driving. When the new law goes in to effect, it will be illegal to text while driving and teens won’t be allowed to use cellphones while driving at all.

Many activists say that the law is an important step in keeping the state’s roadways safe. Jerry Cibley, a businessman from Foxboro was on the phone with his 18-year-old son Jordan, when Jordan drove into a tree and was killed. Now Cibley is championing laws to limit cell phone use by drivers.

“I talk to children all of the time,” Cibley said, speaking with Here & Now’s Robin Young. “I talk to teens. I talk to parents. I tell them my story and I say ‘look at me. I died on May 13, 2007, along with my child.’”

Cibley and his son Jordan were talking on the phone when Jordan died. He lost control of the phone, got distracted, and crashed into a tree. Jordan’s death is what spurs Cbiley to work toward passing anti-texting laws.

“It’s something beyond belief,” Cibley said of his son’s death. “It’s not supposed to happen to you.”

The new law won’t immediately curb all distracted driving deaths, but Cibley is encouraged that the law was passed in Massachusetts.

“I think it’s going to take us probably eight or ten years more before we have a group of young people that have grown up with understanding the dangers of distracted driving,” Cibley said. “And it’s going to be as routine for them when they get in the car to not text as it is for today’s young people, and adults, to get into the car and fasten their seatbelts.”

This program aired on September 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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