Maggie Law: The fatigued-driving rule that carries Maggie McDonnell’s name will be used for the first time nearly 17 years after her death in a head-on accident.
Maggie’s Law, passed by the state government in 2003, makes it illegal for drivers to kill someone after not sleeping for more than 24 hours.
Maggie’s mother now hopes that the collision that killed writer and comedian James McNair and critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan will refocus public attention on tired driving.
I’m sorry for his family. It’s inexcusable that anyone would drive in those conditions. “Maggie’s Law was drafted with the cooperation of Carole McDonnell of Washington Township. “That’s why the law was enacted in the first place: to keep folks like that off the roads.”
Maggie Law: 17 Years After Her Death
Maggie died on July 2, 1997, at the age of 20, when a driver who had been awake for 30 hours and smoked crack the night before slammed her car head-on in the middle lane of the White Horse Pike near Clementon.
Kevin Roper, the truck driver accused of initiating the early Saturday morning turnpike crash that killed McNair and injured four others, including Morgan, has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. According to initial police reports, he had been awake for the previous 24 hours at the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident since trucking industry regulations state that drivers cannot stay on the road for more than 11 hours at a time.
know it’s enforced in the industry, McDonnell added. “However, I’m not sure if the truckers will follow it.”
Fatigued driving was not taken seriously until Maggie’s Law, according to McDonnell. The driver who killed Maggie received a fine of $200.
It took her death to raise awareness about the hazards of driving while tired,” she said. “It felt like being behind the wheel while intoxicated. People did not take drunk driving seriously years ago. They didn’t think texting while driving was a big deal. However, all of these factors make driving difficult.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a key figure in the passage of Maggie’s Law, stated in response to the incident.
“The driver has a right to a fair trial, but if these claims are true, it serves as a stark reminder of why ‘Maggie’s Law’ was enacted in the first place. When people go without sleep and go behind the wheel, they endanger their own lives as well as the lives of everyone else on the road. “The statement is as follows: “We also hope that this tragedy will lead to more research and conversation about how to prevent people from driving when tired.”
The Gloucester County Traffic Safety Task Force includes McDonnell. Every year, the organization hosts a competition in which high school students create short public service videos addressing traffic issues. McDonnell was not on the judging panel, but the winner was a video addressing fatigued driving for the first time.
Maggie’s Law is also the topic of her other work, including speaking about it both in the United States and internationally. McDonnell and the legislation were also the subjects of a short documentary produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
“When it happened, it was high-profile,” she remarked. “It appears to be high-profile again soon before the anniversary of her death.