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An Arlington, Wash., mother will be in the courtroom Friday, asking a judge for leniency for the distracted driver who killed her son. She's also part of the fight to make distracted driving laws in our state tougher.
“Cody would have wanted me to try to make a difference with this mess. I can’t change what happened, but maybe we can make a change for the future that can save somebody else’s child,” Tina Meyer said.
Cody Meyer was working at a construction site in December of 2015 when Andrew Richwine looked down at his cell phone and ended up striking Cody. Five months later Cody died. Richwine will be sentenced Friday afternoon.
In a bit of a surprising move, Meyer says she will urge the judge not to send Richwine to jail. She says Richwine has a young child and she does not want that child to lose their father for any amount of time. She says for this specific crime, it will do no good to have him sit behind bars. She wants to work with the judge on community service that helps him recognize what it is like for anyone who works on the side of the road.
Since Cody’s death, Meyer has been working hard to pass legislation regarding the use of cell phones while driving. Right now, you can’t text while driving or hold a cell phone to your ear, but the law doesn't prohibit a driver from using other features like Facebook, Snapchat, video, or photos. Meyer wants to eliminate the use of cell phones in cars entirely.
“Right now what the law says is I cannot hold the phone to my ear, I cannot send a text, but I can pick my phone up, and I can read a text, I can look down and read the text,” Meyer said. “We have to keep updating laws to go with what is going on with the times. The drunk driving laws change often, electronics, it needs to be changed and be updated.”
Meyer realizes it's one thing to make a law. It's another to get people to follow it.
“I’m not saying that this would have changed my son’s life, but if this law had been updated sooner, it might have. You never know. It might have,” Tina added. “The laws are not going to stop people from doing wrong, but if we can start raising a generation of kids that know this is wrong, this is why it’s wrong, and this is what the law is, hopefully, we can stop the behavior.”
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