Texting While Driving in Haverhill

Jack Duffy

In Haverhill, Massachusetts, a trial has just begun on the issue of texting while driving. 18-year-old Aaron Deveau is the first person tried for vehicular homicide while texting in the state of Massachusetts.

The incident occurred about a year ago, when 55-year-old Donald Bowley, Jr. died on March 10, 2011 from injuries he suffered in a crash caused by Deveau. It was found that Deveau was texting when the crash occurred. Deveau is now being tried under the recent Safe Driving Law.

Massachusetts enacted the Safe Driving Law in the Fall of 2010. The law attempted to ensure that drivers would be safe while using their cell phone, while not fully banning the use of cell phones in vehicles. The first offense for a texting charge is a $100 fee, as it is a civil offense. The use of cell phones becomes criminal when a person is injured because of its use.

We know that using cell phones in cars is dangerous, but the question now becomes how far are we willing to go to stop the epidemic? According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, using a cell phone while driving quadruples your risk of crashing. Should we increase the punishments for cell phone usage? Is Massachusetts willing to ban cell phone usage completely to make our drivers safe?

It is not worth it to answer that text or phone call. You can change the lives of the people around you by making that decision.