YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s General Assembly meets for the first time this Wednesday. One of the goals of a local delegate is teen driver safety.
Del. Martha Mugler represents Virginia’s 91st District, including York County, Poquoson, and Hampton. For the bill, Mugler teamed up Tammy Guido, a mother who lost her 16-year-old son in a car crash in 2019.
The crash that killed Tammy’s son, Conner, also took the lives of three 16-year-old students. Officials say speed was a factor in the crash. The driver also didn’t have a license.
Unfortunately, this type of tragedy is not uncommon. Car crashes are still the leading cause of death for teens in America. Most are preventable.
“Through this tragic loss, I just felt compelled to do something,” said Guido. “Somebody needed to stand up and say ‘Enough is enough.'”
The student driver safety bill has two parts. First, it looks at how high schools issue parking passes and creates a uniform statewide process requiring students to have a driver’s license in order to get a parking pass.
Second, the bill increases driver’s education in school for 10th-graders.
“You know we have always had driver’s [education] courses in our curriculum,” explained Mugler. “This just looks at presenting a little deeper dive into the real and true dangers of speeding and if this is a curriculum that can prevent even one accident from occurring, then it’s worth moving forward.”
Mugler says she’s optimistic the bill will pass.
Guido hopes her efforts will spare another family the grief she lives everyday.
“I mean, these are the pictures that I have of Conner and the things I look at every day and the things that get me up every morning and make me drive with a passion to try to keep other people from going through what we’ve been through.”
10 On Your Side will continue to follow the bill’s progress as it makes its way through the legislature.