38 states have made texting while driving illegal, but it looks like Massachusetts will be the first to imprison someone for breaking this law.
Aaron Deveau has been found guilty of motor vehicle homicide by texting and faces up to four years in prison after his vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a pick up truck and killing Donald Bowley on Feb 20 earlier this year.
I’m kind of torn on this. I agree that Deveau needs to be held accountable for driving carelessly and ultimately causing the death of another human being.
On the other hand, this man is going to have a murder charge on his record for the rest of his life for merely checking his phone while driving.
I guess ultimately, I agree with the ruling. Texting while driving is dangerous and unnecessary. Is there really a text so important that you can’t wait until you get where you’re going to answer it? Is a text message worth a life?
This conviction and the subsequent sentence may seem harsh, but if people aren’t held accountable the message is never going to be heard. People need to know that there will be consequences for driving negligently and putting other lives at risk. Just like driving drunk is dangerous, texting or being otherwise disturbed by a cell phone is even more dangerous. According to this article, distracted driving (which includes cell phone usage) ranks higher than drunk driving. I checked a couple of other sites and cell phone usage ranked higher on those sites as well.
The bottom line is this: driving while texting (or using a cell phone in any other capacity) is dangerous and can be lethal. Yes, this conviction and punishment are harsh, but the message needs to get out there. Don’t text while driving. You shouldn’t even text while walking. We’ve all seen the videos of people falling into manholes while texting while walking. Hell, Ryan Gosling became a “hero” a month or so ago when he stopped a woman who was texting while walking from meandering out in front of a bus.
What do you guys think? Is the punishment too harsh, too lenient, or just right?