A Texting While Driving Tragedy - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

A Texting While Driving Tragedy

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You see people doing it all the time -- multitasking while driving. But texting while driving kills, and this family is sharing their story.

19-year-old Georgie Camacho was texting while on his drive to work. He lost control of his car and the crash killed him.

"And we got the most horrible phone call that any parent could ever get. The worst pain a mother could ever feel," says mom Gina. "His car hit the curbing and it rolled and he was ejected because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt as well."

Georgie was Gina and Marcelo Camacho's only son. "Although he was the greatest kid in the world, he was a teenager who thought he was invincible and he made a horrible decision."

Witnesses and phone records helped his parents determine Georgie was texting while driving. His accident inspired the Camacho's to get the word out about texting while driving.

They started a Facebook page. "We don't want any other families to feel the pain that we felt," says Marcelo. "Our main goal is to spread the message as much as we can."

A Triple A survey shows teens are not getting the message. Nearly a third of teens admitted to texting while driving in the last month, sending an average of 23 texts behind the wheel in the last 30 days.

"Teens are doing it in record numbers and we need to get them to stop because just to illustrate it, it's very dangerous," says Linda Gorman with Triple AAA.

A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that when drivers texted, their risk of a crash was 23 times greater than when not texting.

Triple A has lobbied for a statewide ban on texting while driving, which has failed to pass the state legislature.

The Arizona Citizens Defense League describes itself as a civil rights group against texting while driving legislation.

"It would be an incursion against freedom," says Charles Heller with ACDL. "The State, neither the State nor the federal government should be, not for that matter the municipalities, should be reaching inside our cars to tell us what to do."

Heller says texting while driving is covered under current laws against reckless driving.

"If you can responsibly drive down the street and text, then you should be able to drive down the street and text. What are they going to regulate? Whether you can eat a french fry while you drive? Come on!" says Heller.

But Georgie's mom disagrees. "It takes a split second, a split second to change the rest of your life and the ones who know you, the people that love you, the people that count on you’ We thank God that he didn't involve anybody else, that he didn't take anyone else life."

In Arizona, Phoenix is the only city with a ban on texting while driving. Triple A Arizona says they plan to push for a statewide ban again in 2011.
 

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