Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Texting while Driving

Addendum:  Oh, no!  I am ashamed.  :/
I misread the sentence about how Deveau had his license suspended for 15 years.  He will be in prison for only two.  Oh, boy . . .  What a post.  What a post, and I was wrong.  So I guess you can take those quotes from the District Court Judge and the NSC Director of Transportation to heart.  Let Deveau's sentence be a lesson to you:  Don't text while driving!!!

I'll be the first one to say that texting while driving is bad.  I've done it before.  I'm not proud of it, and I will admit that it's an awful thing to do.  So awful, in fact, I would say it's unethical.  But I will not say it's a crime worthy of 15 years in prison, which is the sentence a Massachusetts teen received this week.

Aaron Deveau crossed over the yellow line while driving one night and crashed into an oncoming truck, killing a 55-year-old man.  Although Deveau claims he wasn't texting while driving, police say he was, and ultimately, he was convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting.  (Read the full article: Massachusetts Teen Sentenced to Prison for Texting while Driving.)

Now, one could argue that texting while driving is the same thing as driving while drunk.  Everyone knows they shouldn't do it, and anyone would be shocked if someone didn't get some kind of harsh punishment for being drunk and driving anyway.  But 15 years in prison, really?  This kid is 18 years old!  18!  He made a mistake, and I'm sure he has regretted that decision to text (if he really did) every day for the last year.  Sending him to prison for 15 years, though, isn't doing anything for him.  One life was lost already in that accident; by sending this kid to prison, there's another one gone.  But!  At least his life is an example to the rest of us!  From the article:
Before imposing the maximum sentence on Deveau, District Court Judge Stephen Abany said he was sending a message of deterrence to Massachusetts drivers.
Senior director of transportation initiative at the National Safety Council David Teater had this to say:
“People can violate these laws and there really isn’t much of a deterrence without examples like this. Clearly, being distracted is an extremely deadly thing that’s going on in this country and people need to understand they just can’t do it.”

Really?  The 15-year sentence is supposed to be an example to the rest of us?  I'm pretty sure I read an article this year about how a teacher who sexually abused a 15-year-old only got five years of probation.  I'm also pretty sure a Texas "Teacher of the Year" was recently found to have been sexually soliciting one of his students online and has only been placed on administrative leave.  I dunno . . .  Maybe we should go all the way back to O.J. and talk about that complete failure of the law . . .

Alls I'm saying is that 15 years seems like a lot of time, when you look at how much (or little) time other people get for far worse crimes.  Sure, maybe cases like this will decrease the amount people text while they drive, but I doubt it.  Sadly, I doubt it.  Meanwhile, this poor kid will waste his life away in prison and have a difficult time getting a job when he's out.

Thing I'm thankful for: my wonderful parents


Blogger Carrie said...

amen and amen. seriously makes me want to cry.

9:30 PM  

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