[telecom] Despite penalties, many fear message may not be heeded
- From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 16:57:23 -0400
Despite penalties, many fear message may not be heeded
By Billy Baker
Globe Staff / June 7, 2012
HAVERHILL - They have heard it from their teachers. They have heard
it from their parents. They have seen the commercials and the
billboards. For a while, Haverhill High School even had a smashed-up
car out front as a visible warning of the dangers of texting and
After a judge imposed the maximum sentence Wednesday on a local
teenager who became the first person in the state convicted of
causing a fatal crash while texting, it is still not clear the
message is sinking in.
"There are still people out there who will say, 'Too bad for that
dude, but it won't happen to me,' '' said Ashley Cochran, 19, as she
sipped an ice coffee in a Tedeschi's parking lot with her friend
Chrissy Levesque, 17. "We have a lot of friends who pick up a text
while they're driving, and I say, 'Don't do it,' but they say, 'I'll
be fine, I'll be fine.' ''
Levesque said texting while driving is definitely a problem among
young people and said her own sister was the worst kind of offender.
"She'll be smoking a cigarette, taking a sip of her coffee, and
texting at the same time.''
Aaron Deveau - who was 17 in February 2011, when he drifted over the
center lane on River Street and slammed head-on into a car driven by
Donald Bowley Jr., 56 - was convicted of motor vehicle homicide and
negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing serious injury while
texting. Bowley died 18 days after the crash. His girlfriend, Luz
Roman, was injured.
During the trial, prosecutors used phone records to argue that Deveau
was texting just before the accident, an assertion he denied on the
In issuing the sentence, a year in prison, District Court Judge
Stephen Abany said his primary concern was that it be a deterrent to
But punishing him as a warning to others did not sit well with Nick
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