A mother whose son died in a wreck with a truck has been honored by the federal transportation department for her work promoting safety for truck drivers. The U.S. Department of Transportation recognized Daphne Izer with the 2014 Champion of Change award earlier this month. Her work over the past twenty years, promotes the use of electronic logging devices by motor carrier drivers to ensure they are well-rested while driving on America’s highways.
Izer lost her son and three of his friends when they were hit by a truck driven by an operator who had fallen asleep behind the wheel. She founded Parents Against Tired Truckers in direct response to her son’s death. Jeff Izer and three other teenagers died after the truck rolled over their car as it sat parked in the breakdown lane of a turnpike near his Maine home. He and his friends had been going to a haunted hay-ride when the car overheated and they pulled over. The driver of the truck had falsified his log book, it was later reported.
Daphne and Steve Izer, Jeff’s parents, started the PATT advocacy group, which eventually became part of the national Truck Safety Coalition in Virginia. Their work helped establish the rumble strips found outside the lanes of most interstate highways. Also, the group lobbied for an increase in the caps for damages for wrongful death lawsuits.