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Government Sued for Texting Drivers

MUDCAT FALLS -- Calabash County and the U.S. Department of Transportation are being sued by the fifty-two drivers involved in a massive, fog-induced pile-up on the Gila Bend section of the Riverside Turnpike which occurred this past spring.

The plaintiff's complaint claims that the government directly caused the accident by texting drivers, which is against the law in Calabash County.

"I was trying to read a message that was warning of low visibility ahead," said eighty-three year old Patina Petty of Pistol Creek. "But it was hard to see because of the fog and I accidentally swerved out of my lane."

Petty's Oldsmobile Delta 88 clipped the front bumper of a Toyota Prius driven by Sunshine Groenomhelzing setting off a chain reaction accident involving fifty other cars and trucks.

"The law makes texting and driving illegal, plain and simple," said Steve Dallas, the attorney representing the accident victims. "It doesn't matter whether that text shows up on a four inch iPhone screen or a forty-foot electronic sign."

The Department of Transportation had recently installed electronic messaging boards along the turnpike to alert motorists to hazardous conditions, traffic congestion and amber alerts.

Calabash County Commissioner Weezer McFairlane had no comment on the pending litgation.

When reached by telephone, an unnamed official in Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx's office said, "It's our highway and I think we know best how to run it."

The official called the suit a frivolous stunt by "local Tea Party yokels" which was "no doubt motivated by racism."

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has pushed for good laws, tough enforcement, and increased public awareness to help combat the deadly epidemic of distracted driving and, today, 44 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban texting while driving for drivers of all ages.



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