Daily Dad News
Iowa Father Who Lost Daughter In Car Crash Pushes For Stricter Teen Driving Laws
March 7, 2012
Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen
A father in Iowa who lost his only child in a motor vehicle accident is turning his family’s tragedy into a larger mission. Michael Lown has undertaken the task of making sure other Iowan families will not suffer a similar loss by advocating for stricter driving laws for teens in his state.
Lown’s 14-year daughter Mackenzie was a freshman at Clear Creek-Amana High School. Last October, Mackenzie passed away after a fellow student driving the car she was inside lost control of the vehicle. Several other students suffered varying injuries in the head-on crash. Although Iowa was one of the first states to adopt the Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law, some officials feel that the measure has done little to prevent teen drivers from perishing.
“The leading cause of death of Iowa’s teenagers is motor vehicle crashes,” shared Dr. Charles Jennissen, Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with the Press-Citizen. “We’ve made a lot of progress in decreasing deaths to young children. We really haven’t made that much progress in decreasing deaths in teenagers.”
A team of advocates in the state has assembled in order to make enhancements to the GDL law. Suggested tweaks are limiting the number of passengers in a car under the age of 21 to upping a supervisory period from six months to a full year. A bill was introduced to Iowa legislature this year, passing in the Senate but not within the halls of its House of Representatives. However, Michael Lown is not giving up easily.
“I support this legislation simply because I don’t want others to go through this,” Lown said. “It saves lives and it makes sense.”
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