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RonShay Dugans Act Establishes Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

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By Gina Jordan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-908866.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Drowsy Driving Prevention Week has been established in Florida. It will be recognized during the first week of September in memory of an 8-year-old Tallahassee girl.

The RonShay Dugans Act was passed by the Legislature and signed Monday by Governor Charlie Crist. It is designed to offer education about the risks of driving while tired. Chief Leroy Smith with the Florida Highway Patrol says drowsy driving is just as dangerous as being drunk behind the wheel.

"Just as alcohol and drugs could impair one's normal faculties, so could sleepiness and drowsiness. It could also slow one's reaction time."

RonShay Dugans was killed almost two years ago when a bus carrying kids to an after school program was hit by a cement truck. The driver was said to be fatigued and driving recklessly. RonShay's mom, Cavetta Corbett, helped get the legislation passed.

"It's been a long journey, and I thank God that it finally paid off, and I want to thank everybody that had a part in it."

According to the federal government, sleepy drivers cause at least 100-thousand crashes a year, resulting in more than fifteen-hundred deaths and 71-thousand injuries.