Unfortunately David Bowley Jr., 55, was killed as the result of 19 year old Aaron Deveau’s distracted driving. A judge has sentenced Deveau to two years in prison for texting before the crash that took the life of the father of three. This is the first time that anyone in the state has been imprisoned for causing a car crash while texting. It probably won’t be the last and such penalties probably won’t be limited to Massachusetts.
According to the Los Angeles Times article “Teen Gets Jail Time for Texting-While-Driving Crash” (http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-texting-and-driving-teen-in-jail-20120607,0,1563342.story?track=rss) the teen insisted that he was not texting at the time of the crash. His phone records indicate otherwise. In addition to prison time, Deveau will not be allowed to obtain a driver’s license for 15 years.
The sentence sets a precedent for the strict penalty imposed. In an interview for the Times story with University of Utah Professor David Strayer who studies distracted driving, 80% of teens are estimated to have texted while driving. Many more jail sentences will have to be imposed and many more car accident deaths will have to occur before people realize: driving while texting is at least as dangerous as driving while drunk.