BOISE -- Just nine months after their 18-year-old daughter died after texting while driving, a Meridian couple fights to end distracted driving.
The U.S. Department of Transportation held its second Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C., to brainstorm ways to get drivers to focus on the road.
Kassy Kerfoot s parents, Gus and Liz Catherman, spoke at today's summit, outlining how distracted driving led to their daughter's death.
On Dec. 29, 2009, Liz said Kassy was driving on Eagle Road on her way to a friend s house when texting took her eyes off the road.
The cars in front of her had stopped. Kassy swerved into oncoming traffic to miss those cars and she hit two others. Five hours after the crash Kassy died of her injuries.
Kassy is one of 5,000 Americans who died last year because of distracted driving.
Now, Kassy's parents talk to Driver's Education classes, and others about the dangers of distracted driving.
Liz says she hopes Congress will pass a law quickly so other parents don't have to go through what she is.
These accidents happen. I don't care who you think you are, they can, and they have, and they will happen again unfortunately, she said.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation distracted driving website, 30 states and the District of Columbia currently ban texting while driving. Idaho is not included in that group.
Texting while driving in Idaho is a violation that falls under contributing circumstances.
Legislation is pending in Congress that would push for a total nationwide texting while driving ban.
The federal government wants this to become law so much that it is encouraging states to adopt the law or risk losing 25 percent of their state's highway funding.
The city of Twin Falls banned texting while driving earlier this year. That law goes into effect next month.
As for Idaho banning texting, Sen. Transportation Committee Chair John McGee says there is nothing in writing yet, but he's almost certain there will be a bill introduced in the coming legislative session.
A new AAA study shows nine out of ten drivers are fearful of those who are texting while driving.
The report says that traffic fatalities in 2009 dropped nearly nine percent, but more than half of the drivers surveyed say they feel less safe on the road than they did five years ago.