My response is intended for David Hench’s April 14 article “Maine bill would make it a crime to drive while fatigued.”

As a teenager who will soon be acquiring a license and is surrounded by peers with licenses, I would feel much safer if a bill were passed to make driving while fatigued illegal. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 11 million admit they have had an accident or near accident because they fell asleep or almost fell asleep at the wheel.

A sleeping driver has the potential to kill himself, his passengers and other drivers on the highway, so these accidents potentially could result in the deaths of dozens of millions of people.

A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety surmised that people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping eight hours or more, while people sleeping less than five hours increased their risk four to five times.

I support the bill that addresses fatigued drivers because it would make the roads safer. Although some may be against the bill because it would be hard to measure the fatigue of drivers, I suggest a reflex test to determine the ability of drivers to respond in dangerous situations.

We all know someone who drives at night, whether it be for 30 minutes or five hours. Outlawing fatigued driving could prevent millions of accidents.

Olivia Spelman

student, Falmouth High School