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Highlight: The Jennie Morris Story

On May 11, 2006 Jennie Morris didn’t know what a Scofflaw was. She pulled up to the red light and stopped in the right turn lane, waiting for traffic to clear. What happened next changed her life forever.

As she waited for a break in traffic a reckless driver was speeding towards her. The driver sped up as he approached the same light where Jennie was waiting. At the last minute he swerved across two lanes of traffic, smashing into Jennie’s vehicle with incredible velocity.

“All I saw was the grill of the truck,” she says, “I had time to think two words: Hit. Fast.”

“Then the windows exploded.”

When she regained consciousness Jennie found the force of the impact had broken her seat. She’d broken through her seatbelt and she was covered in broken glass. Her head felt like it had been hit with a sledgehammer.

Struggling from her totaled car, Jennie approached the driver of the truck that hit her.

“What were you thinking?” she pleaded.

He ignored her. He was talking on his cell phone.

For the Scofflaw, it was a day he’d like to forget. For Jennie Morris it was a day that changed her life forever. A day she couldn’t forget if she wanted to. The crash left her with severe neck and back injuries. Her shoulder was torn.

The Scofflaw wasn’t slowed by the accident. In the next two weeks he racked up two more traffic citations. Eventually, he paid. Jenny hasn’t heard from him since and noted that he hasn’t accrued more violations. “Either he died in accident, left the state or wised up,” says Jennie.

The Scofflaw was off Alaskan roads or had changed his ways, but Jennie was suffering from injuries that would be with her for the rest of her life. By August she was taking her cause to the Anchorage Assembly. She didn’t want someone else to go through what she had and she wanted habitually reckless drivers stopped. By July of 2007 she was standing in Governor Sarah Palin’s Anchorage Office. She watched as the governor signed a statewide Scofflaw bill. Now Police had the ability to impound the vehicles of dangerous drivers.

Jennie Morris is proud of her advocacy to stop reckless drivers in Anchorage and across the state:

“People who owe all of these tickets have the mentality that they don’t have to follow our laws. They don’t care about hitting people and hurting people. My idea of the Scofflaw is that a reckless driver can be pulled over and the officer stops him takes away his car. By removing the weapon they’ve made it so no one is hurt or killed later in the day.”

And lending your car to a Scofflaw?

“That’s no different than lending your gun to a violent felon,” she says.

Thanks to Jennie Morris and concerned citizens like her, Anchorage is starting to put a stop to its most dangerous drivers. Check the Scofflaw list. See if anyone you know is on it. Tell him or her to stop putting other drivers in harm’s way.