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- House OKs bill allowing drug tests (02-15-08)
- Panel balks at proposed bill to test for drugs at accidents (02-01-08)
- Bill would require drug testing in accidents (01-23-08)
- Drivers may be forced to turn over saliva (11-10-07)
- Tonganoxie family backs bill to toughen vehicular homicide law (11-09-07)
Topeka Dennis and Denise Bixby wiped tears from their eyes Saturday as they sat in the House gallery and watched lawmakers approve a bill that they helped push through the Legislature.
The measure is aimed at increasing testing by law enforcement for drugs and alcohol in drivers involved in serious traffic accidents.
It was prompted by the death of their daughter Amanda Bixby, 19, who was killed on Valentine's Day 2007 in a wreck near Basehor.
The driver who ran into Bixby wasn't tested for drugs, and was later fined and placed on six months probation after pleading no contest to failure to yield at a stop sign.
Dennis and Denise Bixby, of Tonganoxie, think the driver should have been tested for drugs. They have been pushing for more stringent testing requirements since before the legislative session started in January.
The House and Senate on Saturday approved House Bill 2617, putting it on Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' desk for her consideration. The measure increases the authority of law enforcement to order a test for drugs or alcohol in a vehicle accident that results in a death or serious injury.
Dennis Bixby said he was pleased with the final bill.
"This brings out the best in Kansas politics because it didn't matter Republican, Democrat, Independent; they just tried to want to get a bill that would work," Bixby said.
The Bixbys spent many days at the Capitol, testifying for the legislation, talking with lawmakers one-on-one and meeting with various groups.
State Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, who helped the Bixbys in their effort, said, "They have been up here countless times."
Bixby said at first he and his wife were working for passage of the bill in memory of their daughter.
But, he added, "As time went on and things changed, we realized that we weren't really doing it for our daughter - our daughter is just fine - we're doing it for the other people in Kansas that are going to be in the same situation that we were, but hopefully they will be able to get the answers."