Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bad judgment

It's scary to consider that we share public roadways with people who have exceedingly poor judgment. Consider this story from SLC's Deseret News:

LOGAN — A man accused of killing two people while text messaging and driving has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and community service.

Court records show that Reggie Shaw was ordered to serve jail time but also instructed to perform 150 hours of community service, including speaking to schools about the dangers of text messaging behind the wheel.

Shaw, 22, struck a plea in abeyance with Cache County prosecutors. He pleaded to a pair of class A misdemeanor negligent homicide charges in 1st District Court. Shaw was convicted in connection with the deaths of two men in 2006. He was accused of text messaging while driving when his SUV sideswiped another, spinning it into oncoming traffic where it was hit by a truck. Both James A. Furfaro, 38, and Keith P. Odell, 50, were killed.

Prosecutors have said they obtained cell phone records that showed Shaw was texting from the time he left his home until the time of the crash. The UHP claims that Shaw continued to text message while being questioned about the crash.

Shaw's case will be reviewed on July 27.

— Ben Winslow

All the time, I see people behind the wheel of multi-ton rolling lethal weapons, for whom driving is a distraction from what they're really trying to focus on. Mostly yappin' on the cellphone with that glazed-over, faraway expression on their faces.

How sad for Mr. Furfaro and Mr. Odell, who had the misfortune of being on the road at the same time as this feckless moron. But at least he got some HARSH punishment, huh? 15 days in jail for each of the homicides, and community service. (Can he text-message while he's doing his jail time and community service?)

1 comment:

Gavin said...

It seems that there could, and should be a stiffer penalty for this. I work in Logan, though I live just north of the border, (which allows me to benefit from your perspectives on Idaho) and see that this could be a dangerous situation. If, this young man had been traveling northward on Highway-91, and drifted over on to the wide shoulder, I could have been flattened, handlebars and all. There seems to be little common-sense involved with texting-while-driving. If you aren't looking down the road, there is danger. If I tried to text on my bike, I know that bad things would happen, why isn't it the same for drivers?

Oh, and on a side note, another interesting part of the young man's sentence is that the judge required him to read Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, which I don't fully understand.