Nov 02, 2009

Text Your Way to Prison

As a California bicycle commuter, I'm angry and scared because I see so many people continuing to use cell phones while driving long after doing so was made a crime.

In England, Phillippa Curtis (age 22) was recently convicted of driving while distracted by using a cell phone and sentenced to 21 months in prison.  Curtis smashed into a stopped car and killed its occupant, Victoria McBride.  An analysis of Curtis' cell phone showed that while she was driving, Curtis had sent and received about 20 text messages in the minutes leading up to the crash.  She'd just received another message seconds before the crash, and may have been about to open it when she killed Ms. McBride. 

Curtis was convicted even though she was not actively texting at the moment of the crash.  The evidence convinced the jury that Curtis was distracted by texting while driving, and that supports the guilty verdict.

What a sad story.  I hope drivers here get the text message.