Mum proud to see "Brooke's Law"

IT’S called “Brooke’s Law” and the mother of the Mulwala 20-year-old it is named after said it would stop other young people from texting, driving and dying on the road.

Brooke Richardson died on December 4 when her car hit a tree near Cobram. Her mobile phone showed she was texting moments before the crash.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu launched a campaign yesterday, which includes penalties, new technology and confronting advertising in a bid to reduce the number of distracted drivers.

Under the measures, Victoria’s P-plate drivers will be banned from using hands-free devices, hand-held phones and messaging.

The Premier has dubbed it “Brooke’s Law” and Brooke’s mother, Vicki Richardson, said it made her proud.

“She’s done something huge,” Ms Richardson said.

“She’s always wanted to help people and she’s done that now.”

Ms Richardson said she spoke to Brooke 12 months before her crash about texting and driving.

“We sat her down, and said ‘You can’t do this’ but that meant nothing before — she got away with it,” she said.

“If Brooke had not been allowed to have a phone in her car, she wouldn’t have that choice.”

Ms Richardson was in Melbourne yesterday to support the launch of the Transport and Accident Commission advertising campaign that ties in to the Victorian government’s new road measures.

Under the measures, fines for drivers using mobile phones will increase from $282 to $423.

Hands-free devices are still permitted for full licence holders.

An Android app called Road Mode, is also being developed.

The app prevents the user from receiving or making calls or texts while driving.

VicRoads is in negotiations with Apple so it can roll out the application on its devices as well.

The government hopes to implement the measures as soon as possible.

Ms Richardson also has more planned.

She is working on producing anti-texting and driving bumper stickers and wants to place billboards on highways.

“Brooke would want to get the message out there. We’re only doing it for her,” she said.

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