Distracted driving: Motorists who text message while driving should lose their license
The death of Corey McNett as reported in the news reminded me of the death of my grandson, Luke, which occurred 3 years ago.
Both boys were killed by distracted drivers; although there is no indication that the man who killed my 7-year-old twin grandson was text messaging while driving. But, he was distracted.
The accident was not my son’s fault. He was driving the speed limit - 25 mph in a residential area. All the family members in his vehicle were wearing seatbelts. The man who killed our child was driving more than twice the speed limit -- the police investigation listed his speed at about 55 mph. The driver felt ill but didn’t stop.
I recently worked with a woman named Shirley. She is up in her 80s and has never had a car accident or a ticket in all her years of driving -- all the many, many years since she was a young woman. Shirley attributes her perfect driving record to three important ways of driving: 1) she never listens to the radio while driving; 2) she never listens to music while driving; and, 3) she never talks to her passengers. When Shirley drives, she concentrates on her driving. She would never consider talking on a phone while driving.
As a grandmother who has had a few “fender benders” during my 50+ years of driving, I’m now following Shirley’s lead. I don’t listen to the radio -- except while waiting at traffic lights. (I’m finding that I don’t miss much on the radio, CD player, or tapes.) I enjoy the weather more and I am much more alert to potential problems on the road.
Most of the responsible people I know cannot imagine anyone reading and/or writing text messages while driving a car! What are we thinking? If you have ever known a child who was killed by one of these irresponsible drivers, you will know the outrage of the survivors.
People who read or write text messages while operating a car should lose their driver’s licenses -- 3 years for the first violation -- permanently for the second violation. It’s time we all started to show some common sense about being licensed to drive a car.
Margaret R. Bennett
P.S. Ele's Place -- a grief center for children -- helped Luke’s family immeasurably. I hope that Corey’s family and the friend, who observed the accident that killed him, will contact the caring people at this center and get some help.