• 61°

Senate bill adds drowsy driving to class, manual

A bill sponsored by Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Elba, requiring the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency to include information about drowsy driving passed 28-0 on Thursday.

SB221, says that ALEA must include information about the dangers of drowsy driving in its driver’s manual and licensing examination materials and specifies that the state department of education must require any driver’s education course offered at a public high school to include in its curriculum instruction on the dangers of drowsy driving.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

Shelia Faulkner, mother of Wendall Williams, who lost his life in a car accident in November 2006, has diligently worked with Holley and traveled to Goat Hill to tell her story of how the driver of the vehicle her son was riding in on the night of his death had been up more than 22 hours straight.

“It just makes my heart feel good,” she said. “It helps my heart to know that it is included in the manual to help young people understand the dangers and to keep their parents from hopefully going through the same heartache we have gone through losing Wendall. I’m so happy about it. If one life is saved, it is priceless.”

Sen. Holley also has worked to draft legislation penalizing those who endanger others by driving when drowsy.

“The staff had a hard time determining how you could define this, or measure it,” Holley said Thursday. “We were glad we could do this bill, but need to take a second look at the other one.”