The Huffington Post interviews Senator Jason Rapert of Arkansas about a law he proposed, which was passed in 2013, to make fatigued driving an illegal act under certain conditions.
When Arkansas became one of only two states in America to criminalize drowsy driving, it was partly thanks to the efforts of one man: state Sen. Jason Rapert (R).
More than three years ago, Rapert was frustrated by the incidence of traffic fatalities in which no one could be prosecuted because the state’s laws only penalized infractions like drunk driving. So he proposed SB 874, which classifies “fatigued driving” under the category of negligent homicide if the driver involved in a fatal accident has not slept for 24 consecutive hours.
The measure passed easily in the Arkansas House and Senate and became a law in April 2013.
The Huffington Post caught up with Rapert to learn how he got the law on the books.
What prompted your interest in drowsy driving?
I had a constituent who lost her mother due to the fact a driver had allegedly been bragging on social media about staying up over 24 hours without sleep and got into a car, fell asleep and hit her mother in a head-on collision, killing her mother.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Danny Johnston