Alabaster mom on mission to stiffen Alabama's texting and drivin - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabaster mom on mission to stiffen Alabama's texting and driving law

(Source: WBRC Video) (Source: WBRC Video)
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Despite a 2012 ban on texting and driving, distracted driving accidents continue to pile up. Now a mother in Alabaster whose daughter was killed recently in a distracted driving accident is taking her fight to Montgomery to try and change laws.

"These kids are getting phones at 8, 9, 10 years old before they're even close to driving. And in another three or five years, they aren't going to put the phone down," Michelle Lunsford said.

Lunsford is speaking to as many people who will listen to her about the dangers of distracted driving. It's a message that hits her like a rock.

Her 17-year-old daughter Camyrn Callaway was killed in an accident in February. Michelle says her daughter got distracted behind the wheel after heading home on I-65 south near exit 242 when her car collided with an tractor trailer.

The Thompson High School senior's life ended a month before her 18th birthday.

Since then, Michelle has been speaking out telling parents about the real consequences of texting and driving.

"For me, its been very important in the healing process for me. Its make a big impact on me just by what I hear from other people," Lunsford said.

She's now taking her daughter's story to the state capitol in hopes of changing Alabama's texting and driving laws.

"We need stronger enforcement of the laws and stronger laws. The laws are very weak in Alabama," Lunsford said.

Right now, if you get caught texting and driving in Alabama its $25 for the first offense then goes to $50 and $75 for the third offense. You'll also get two points against your driver's license. Lunsford believes the current law is a slap on the wrist.

"I believe they need to increase the fines for it to make it a deterrent to texting and driving that you will think twice about it," she said.

We took Lunsford's concerns to State Senator Jim McClendon of Springville .He originally pushed Alabama's texting and driving bill into law in 2012, six years after first trying.

"The penalties got watered down in the process in order to get the bill passed and I'm in agreement its time to stiffen those penalties to bring them up to par with other similar offenses," McClendon said.

The University of Alabama's Center for Advanced Public Safety tracks how many crashes were caused by distracted driving.

In 2009, there were 469 accidents. By 2016, that number jumped to over 1,500. State statistics keepers warn these numbers aren't telling us how big the problem really is and that's why Lunsford and Senator McClendon says something needs to be done to get a handle on the growing problem.

"I'd be more than willing to come forward with a bill particularly if I could get some support from out of these parents and folks in the public who wants to see these laws," McClendon said.

"Its time to really be pushing forward with the laws. Like I said it starts at the home. Its only something written on paper if mom, dad. If you are not enforcing it. We have laws against speeding but we do it. It has to come from the home first," Lunsford said.

Lunsford says she's looking forward to meeting with Senator McClendon. In the coming weeks, she's got a meeting with ALDOT and with Drive Safe Alabama about trying to strengthen texting and driving laws.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All Rights Reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Giuliani says White House wants briefing on classified info

    Giuliani says White House wants briefing on classified info

    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-05-26 05:13:07 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:54 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:54:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington.
    President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified materials shared with lawmakers.More >>
    President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified materials shared with lawmakers.More >>
  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:54 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:54:25 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
  • Civilians who shot restaurant gunman say they stopped threat

    Civilians who shot restaurant gunman say they stopped threat

    Saturday, May 26 2018 4:03 AM EDT2018-05-26 08:03:40 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:45 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:45:47 GMT
    (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...(Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed...More >>
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed bystanders.More >>
Powered by Frankly