In the college town of Chapel Hill, NC something extraordinary has happened in response to an inattentive driver who hit a young woman by the name of Krista Slough who was crossing the street on her way to classes in Sept., 2010.
The crash itself was not so different than many of the crashes involving distracted drivers- in fact Ms. Slough did survive the incident (albeit with a variety of lasting injuries), but from that incident a fire was lit within the community to do at no other town, large city, state or federal governing body has done: pass a complete ban on all cell phone use for drivers, both handheld and hands-free.
Former town council member Joe Capowski, who partially witnessed the original crash in front of his home, enlisted the help of media, advocates, town leaders and citizenry to bring attention and focus to an otherwise complacent feeling about this issue that is shared by many communities across the nation.
So what was otherwise a relatively small news blurb that may have stayed relevant in the minds of that community for a week or so, turned into a campaign that compelled the town leaders to actually consider what the groups like the NTSB, the National Safety Council and FocusDriven have been recommending for some time; to look seriously at a complete cell phone ban to bring down crash rates, injuries and deaths.
What this proves is that it’s the determination of local advocates and their dogged pursuit of goals that can create change for the better. There are advocates all over the U.S. who are taking their pain or loss to higher ground to try and make change take place and with this extraordinary ‘first’, their chances are looking better than ever.
Who knew that from the small town of Chapel Hill, NC that we would see a light all across the nation?
So keep the fires that set you on your course burning and don’t lose sight of your goals because for everyone who does and reaches their summit, the light from their fire can lead the way for many others to follow.