Founder of Joshua’s Law urges teen driver safety at South Forsyth High School
The founder of Joshua’s Law teamed up with Drive Smart Georgia to visit South Forsyth High School. The purpose of the presentation was to urge the students to drive safely to avoid a tragedy like the one he experienced.
The history of Joshua’s Law
Joshua Robert Brown, a 17-year-old from Cartersville, GA., was an overachieving teen who loved football and baseball. Because of his musical talent, he was accepted into a prestigious music school in Boston, where he planned to attend after his high school graduation.
However, Joshua’s life ended way too early in 2003. On July 1, he was driving on a two-lane highway in the rain when his truck hit a puddle of water, hydroplaned, and crashed into a tree. Severely injured, the teen fought to stay alive for nine days, but passed away on July 9.
This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Joshua’s dad, Alan Brown, was distraught beyond belief and had to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. “I spent a year in a very, very dark place,” the creator of Joshua’s Law said with sadness. “I was in the worse place a human can be in.”
Joshua’s Law passes
However, Mr. Brown made the difficult decision to turn his grief, guilt and emptiness into a personal crusade after hearing “the voice of God in my sleep.” He then proceeded to write Joshua’s Law that night and finished it in the very wee hours of the morning. Finally, he presented the bill to his state senator, who said it was the best piece of legislation that he had ever seen.
In 2005, Senate Bill 226, also known as Joshua’s Law, was passed with an overwhelming majority of 87% in the Georgia House and Senate. The bill was considered the most important piece of legislation passed in many years. Its tighter teen driver requirements of Joshua’s Law went into effect on January 1, 2007.
The success of Joshua’s Law
Since then, Mr. Brown has helped pass Joshua’s Law in 13 other states and three national teen driving bills. He has worked actively with the Centers for Disease Control and the Academy of Science and Medicine to help promote teen driver safety. In addition, he worked with the US Congress to pass a bill that requires automakers to install Electronic Stability Control systems in every car made after 2011. This particular law saves approximately 15,000 lives every year.
Joshua’s Law founder visits
South Forsyth High School
Mr. Brown decided to endorse Drive Smart Georgia because, “they really care.” This new and powerful team dedicated to teen driver safety developed a new on-site program for high school students. On October 11, they paid a visit to South Forsyth High School to talk to about 500 sophomores.
The purpose was to get the soon-to-be-drivers thinking about the responsibilities that come with their newfound freedom of driving and to open a discussion about the dangers of teen driving. Drive Smart Georgia CEO Kirk Bressette opened the program and welcomed Alan Brown, the founder of Joshua’s Law.
During the event, Mr. Brown explained the agony of receiving a call from the hospital and begged the students to take driving seriously at all times. “No parent should go through what I went through,” he stated. Mr. Bressette added, “Auto accidents is still the #1 killer of teens.” They both discussed the dangers of distracted driving, alcohol and drugs, and other potential hazards behind the wheel.
Joshua’s Law founder urges students to take driving seriously
Mr. Brown begged the students to never text and drive. “That’s a huge problem,” he stated. He also pleaded with the students to realize the severity of unnecessary risks behind the wheel. “Just like that you could be dead and your parents will forever mourn you. Don’t do that to them.”
The program concluded with a Jeopardy-like trivia game with questions related to safe driving, “I just want you all to be safe out there,” Mr. Brown concluded to a heartfelt round of applause.
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