Faulkner: I’m never giving up on this

Published 12:02 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Andalusia’s Shelia Faulkner is a mother on a mission.

For the last two regular legislative sessions, she’s worked to get a drowsy driving law passed in Alabama.

So far, that hasn’t happened.

This week she and her husband spent Monday raising awareness on the Capitol grounds and Tuesday morning at the State House.

The legislature is currently meeting in special session to pass the state’s budgets.

Nearly nine years ago, Faulkner lost her son in a fatal accident.

According to police reports, the driver of the vehicle her son was in has been up approximately 22 hours.

Faulkner’s son, Wendall G. Williams was 28 when he died.

Drowsy driving is implicated in 100,000 car crashes per year, leaving 71,000 people injured and 1,500 dead, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Faulkner said the law she wants passed is modeled after Arkansas’s. There, drowsy drivers who cause a fatal accident face up to a $25,000 fine and a year in jail.

Under the law, drivers are guilty of “fatigued driving,” classified as negligible homicide, if they have been awake for 24 consecutive hours and cause a fatal accident.

“I just wanted to get awareness out there this week,” she said. “It was just me and my husband. I handed out a poem that was read at Wendall’s funeral.”

Though, Faulkner said she hasn’t made much progress, she said she won’t give up.

“I’m going to keep coming back,” she said. “I’m never giving up on this.”