TEXTING AND DRIVING
A PRIVILEGE OR MANSLAUGHTER?
June 7, 2012
I canít and I wonít apologize for this piece, but I have to get something off of my chest.
Last night I heard about a young man who was sentenced to 2 and a half years in jail (prison?) for killing a 55 year old grandfather while driving and texting on his cell phone. This is a landmark ruling as far as this subject is concerned. Many states have outlawed texting while driving, and some have even outlawed cell phone use all together while driving.
(Side note: I heard this morning that the man, 18 years old I believe, has been sentenced to only one year of incarceration, so I donít know whatís up.)
Not only was this person sentenced to jail (or prison), but his drivers license has been suspended for fifteen years.
I personally am strongly against texting and driving, and Iím divided on the talking part. But címon, people. Trying to text while driving is absurd. When I went through driverís training you were supposed to have both hands on the wheel (preferably) at the 10 and 2 oíclock position. I know people donít drive that way after they get their license, but Iím just trying to make a point. Would you have gotten your license if you were texting or talking on your cell while your driving instructor was sitting next to you?
I donít think so.
So Iím listening to this news program this morning, the same one that said he was sentenced to one year, and they asked viewers their opinions on this sentence. One man commented, and I quote: ďWhatís this young man supposed to do? Will he have to catch a ride to work for 15 years? Why didnít they just suspend his cell phone privileges for 15 years?Ē
Iím sorry, sir, but you are a complete moron.
This Ďkidí killed another human being. And why? Because he wasnít paying attention to his driving and decided to risk his own life and others because his phone call was so important?
This makes me sick.
How can anybody text and drive safely? They canít. It's that simple.
I donít drive. I can and I used to, but for reasons I wonít mention, I simply donít. And yes, if I wanted to, I could. But being a pedestrian and living in a state where texting and driving is still legal, Iím scared for my life every time I walk down the sidewalk or cross a street.
But hereís what makes me angry. How can this moron Ďworryí about this kidís ability to get to work? Where is his sympathy for the victimís family? Or the victim himself?
(Another note: the kid himself did apologize to the victimís family, even though he pled Ďnot guiltyí and said he wasnít texting; he was just tired. However, his cell phone records showed that he was texting just one minute before the accident, and there was testimony that he might have erased other records. Hmm.)
In a nutshell, itís negligent homicide, although I believe he was convicted of manslaughter. Either way, itís criminal, and he should have been punished accordingly, which he was.
Other viewers who share my opinion said he should have gotten a longer sentence. I wonít go into that.
My point: whatís happening to this world? Where did this moron come from? I know heís only one person, but Iíve heard a lot of idiotic arguments over a lot of other Ďno-brainerí issues in the last year, and Iím really beginning to wonder about our society. There are still people in this world who donít believe the Holocaust ever happened, even when presented with solid evidence thrust in their face.
How can people be so damn stupid?
And how long is it going to take for our lawmakers to open their eyes to this lunacy?
Iím putting this out here for other opinions on this cell phone issue. Do you think texting and driving should be outlawed? And if so, should the person be incarcerated if they take a life? For how long?
Or are you someone who believes that their cell phone privileges should just be suspended?
Or (God forbid!) taken away forever?
Iíd really like some feedback on this, whether you agree with me or not.
Thanks for reading this, and if youíd like me to, Iíll try to review one of your pieces, regardless of whether or not I agree with you.
One reviewer's comments and links:
While your emotional argument clearly portrays the problem, I think you could strengthen your position by providing some of the vast research concerning this issue. For example, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute determined that ďtext messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted,Ē and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that ďin 2010 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes Ė with 3,092 people killed.Ē