To the Editor, The Albuquerque Journal
During the 2011 legislative session, a bill increasing the penalties available for Careless Driving that results in great bodily harm or the death of another road user was introduced by Representative Rick Miera as House Bill 68. Although it easily passed the House, it did not make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of the session. A similar bill, also introduced by Rep. Miera, has been introduced into the 2012 Legislative Session as House Bill 12.
Governor Martinez has recently commented in the news on how important it is to combat DWI. I thank the Governor for leading this critical fight against drunk driving, but DWI is increasingly only a part of the hazard we face on the road due to bad driving. Electronic distractions and other forms of driver carelessness or inattention are endemic, leading to the notion that driving is not a full time job. The price is often paid in blood and tears.
The message we have to send to the public has to be a comprehensive one: being a good driver means not only remaining sober, but paying attention to one's driving and taking driving seriously. House Bill 12 would send just such a message, and hopefully do so as education rather than after a tragedy unfolds. I am asking the public and our legislators to please support this bill and put it on the Governor's desk for signature.
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For a full description of how HB 12 would affect Careless Driving prosecutions, go read the Duke City Wheelmen's site.
Scott Duane Lane was killed January 10, 2012 by a driver who was allegedly so distracted she didn't even know she had run a red light.