Parents push for bill that would notify them if minors speed - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Parents push for bill that would notify them if minors speed

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Legacies are often left behind on the football field long after the players are gone.

Denzel Steward's legacy is - in part - why his face is on the press box at Jeffersontown High School.

It's the other part of that legacy that's hard for his mother to talk about.

"It's been rough. I can't say it's been easy at all. It's been a constant struggle," said Shawn Steward, the mother of 17-year old Denzel.

A linebacker and senior-to-be in 2009, Denzel's number 32jersey was retired by the high school. But only after his legacy was cut short by a fatal car crash on June 21, 2009 near the intersection of Southwestern Parkway and Garland Avenue.

"I don't know. It's rough to lose a child - extremely," she said.

A month before Denzel's untimely death, he had received a speeding ticket. A ticket he kept as a secret from his parents. A ticket a relative found while going through Denzel's belongings.

"I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing about it. And the speed was ridiculous."

Shawn Steward says her son was traveling more than 100 miles per hour on a stretch of Bardstown Rd.

It's why Steward and her ex-husband Orson are supporting a push for the Denzel Steward Act - a bill proposed in the Kentucky Legislature that would require the state Transportation Cabinet to forward any traffic citations to parents while their children are still minors.

"I want Denzel's legacy to continue. I don't want any other parents to experience what we've or we're experiencing," Shawn Steward said.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Reggie Meeks, D - Louisville, said he forwarded a copy of the pre-filed bill to Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock to iron out any potential roadblocks or issues with the bill.

The only concern, Meeks says, might be the administrative costs of notifying parents each time their minor child receives a traffic citation.

But Orson Steward says "the benefit outweighs the cost."

"I'm not the first parent to lose a child in a traffic collision and I won't be the last, but if it saves some parent from receiving a phone call in the wee hours of the morning," then it's worth it, Orson Steward said during a phone interview with WDRB's Bennett Haeberle.

Shawn and Orson Steward both agreed had they known their son had been speeding, they would've revoked his driving privileges.

"So I'm praying this bill will get passed. It has to. I don't want any other parents to go through what I've been through," said Shawn Steward.


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