Drowsy Driving

WHEREAS, From 1993 to 2003, according to statistics compiled by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, approximately 100 people were killed each year in California in collisions where a drowsy driver was involved; and

WHEREAS, In that 10-year period, 41,228 people have been injured in California in collisions where a drowsy driver was involved; and

WHEREAS, In that 10-year period, there were 28,533 collisions involving a drowsy driver where no one was injured, but significant property damage occurred; and

WHEREAS, All of these fatalities, injuries, and property damage could have been avoided; and

WHEREAS, A 1999 poll by the National Sleep Foundation discovered that 62 percent of all adults surveyed reported driving a car or other motor vehicle while feeling drowsy in the prior year; and

WHEREAS, The same poll revealed that 27 percent of the adults reported that they had, at some time, dozed off while driving; and

WHEREAS, This poll also found that 23 percent of adults stated that they know someone who experienced a fall-asleep crash within the past year; and

WHEREAS, The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes annually, that is about 1.5 percent of all crashes, involve drowsiness or fatigue as a principal causal factor; and

WHEREAS, At least 71,000 people are injured in fall-asleep crashes each year; and, NHTSA estimates these crashes represent $12,500,000 in monetary losses each year; and

WHEREAS, Many more people die each year from crashes related to drowsy, sleepy, or fatigued drivers than from many serious illnesses; and

WHEREAS, Many California residents die each year, including Robyn Meryl Amsel Mellon Konstantin, who died in a collision on April 6, 1999, while driving when she was drowsy; and

WHEREAS, This problem can affect every person who operates or rides in a motor vehicle, or who walks, stands, or sits near a roadway; and

WHEREAS, This problem can be solved by making drivers aware of the risks of driving without adequate rest; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That April 6, 2005, is hereby proclaimed by the Legislature as Drowsy Driver Awareness Day and be it further

Resolved, That the Governor is requested to make a similar proclamation; and be it further

Resolved, That this measure be adopted with urgency as this April 6th marks the sixth anniversary of the death of California resident Robyn Meryl Amsel Mellon Konstantin who died in 1999 on that date; and be it further

Resolved, That April 6th of every year after this resolution is enacted be designated as a memorial day to observe the importance of educating the public on drowsy driving, and to remember those thousands of Californians who have died in collisions related to drowsy driving; and be it further

Resolved, That the observance of Drowsy Driver Awareness Day emphasize the preventability of all crashes related to drowsy driving; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution and to the Governor.    

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