Carbon monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the United State’s. With the proper knowledge of the dangers surrounding carbon monoxide, this danger is 100 percent preventable. Unfortunately, we are not doing an adequate job of informing the public of carbon monoxide safety.
On December 2, 2010, a family from our area was struck by a horrible tragedy. Tyler Lavers, son of Jeff and Kelly and brother to Shane and Nicolette, was accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide while working on his car. Tyler was working with the garage door open, but the carbon monoxide did not escape to the colder outside air as most would have thought it would.
Tyler’s family is now working to prevent other families from going through this same tragedy. Their goal is to increase education and understanding of carbon monoxide poisoning. Along with Senator Ted Lillie (co-author), I am honored to author “Tyler’s Law” to increase awareness of this silent killer.
The legislation will require driver education programs to include a section on carbon monoxide poisoning. The instruction will include (but is not limited to) a description of the characteristics of carbon monoxide, a review of the risks and potential speed of death from carbon monoxide poisoning, and specific suggestions regarding vehicle idling practices.
The bill also calls for driver’s license exams to include a test on the knowledge of the dangers of carbon monoxide and requires additional information on risks to be included in the Department of Public Safety’s driver’s manuals.
Tyler’s entire family joined me last week as I presented the legislation to the Senate Transportation Committee. With their help, we are hopeful that Tyler’s Law will become law this session. The Lavers family’s drive to improve safety for others, in the wake of this tragedy, is truly inspirational. I am grateful for the time and effort they have put into making this legislation a reality.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.