COLUMBUS, Ohio — 10TV sports anchor Dom Tiberi appeared before Ohio lawmakers Thursday to testify for a bill aimed at ending distracted driving.
The proposed bill would prohibit Ohioans from using phones or other electronic communications devices while driving. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek).
On Sept. 17, 2013, Dom lost his 21-year-old daughter, Maria, in a distracted driving accident.
“I will never forget the night that we lost Maria. I went to the hospital to identify her. My little girl laid on a gurney. I walked in and out of the room so many times. I could not believe I was leaving her. How could I leave her? But I had to. I ask you what you would do to save your children? As parents and grandparents, we should be screaming that the leading killer of our children is car crashes,” Dom said during Thursday's testimony.
Since then, the Tiberis and their 10TV family have been on a mission to teach young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
Maria’s Message was created and since then, the message has been delivered to 125 schools throughout Ohio.
Dom has led the charge in teaching high school students – some just about to get their license – what an important responsibility driving is.
The Maria Tiberi Foundation Simulator Lab was installed at the Tolles Career and Technical Center last year and it features 25 simulators with 16 different lesson plans.
Eastland Career Center is expected to receive 25 driving simulators later this year.
On behalf of The Maria Tiberi Foundation, Dom spoke in front of lawmakers in support of House Bill 283 and emphasized that he does not want other families to go through what he did.
"I speak today for all the parents and all victims out there who are living what I call hell on earth. I never wanted Maria to be a statistic, but the statistics don’t lie. Car crashes remain the leading killer of our children, ages 8 to 24. Amongst all age groups, heart disease is the number one killer, followed by Cancer. Car crashes are the 3rd leading killer of all age groups. I ask you what is more preventable? The other thing with statistics is that they all have names, and they all have families, and we all are hurting. I promise you I did not sign up for this and I wish I was not here," he said.
10TV and Maria's Message, along with our partner Erie Insurance, are working to put an end to distracted driving. If you would like Dom to deliver Maria's Message to visit your school, contact him at Dom.Tiberi@10tv.com.
RELATED: Maria's Story