The recent conviction of a Haverhill teenager is a reminder that texting while driving can have tragic, irreversible consequences.
Donald Bowley was 55 when he was killed in a head on collision with a young man that veered over the center line into oncoming traffic. His girlfriend was seriously injured in the accident. The driver of the vehicle that crossed the center line was texting seconds before the collision. He will now spend a year of his young life in jail as punishment for the crimes of vehicular homicide and negligent operation while texting.
This case is a sad reminder of the danger that a motor vehicle can pose to other people on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk. The collision that killed Donald Bowley occurred at relatively low speeds and was the result of a motorist that was not giving the task of driving his full attention. Had the other driver given his full attention to the road, this tragedy may have never occurred.
It is my hope that this case will serve as a poignant reminder to all of the dangers of distracted driving. Texting a friend or getting lost in thoughts of work or school–activities that are harmless elsewhere–can take a life when they are done behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Drivers in Cambridge and Somerville should be especially cognizant of this danger. The roads in our community are flooded with not only cars, but buses, scooters, cyclists, and pedestrians; congested, sometimes narrow city streets demand the full attention of everyone on the road.
Please, please exercise care behind the wheel and take responsibility for your driving. Texting while driving is against the law and puts many people other than yourself at considerable risk. There are also steep penalties for anyone under the age of 18 who uses a cell phone while driving.
Good driving, though it takes no extra time and just a little more care and attention, could save a life.