Saved by the bell

Don’t drive and text, pt. 2

I recently wrote about a guy who was caught driving while trying to use two mobile phones simultaneously. Now an even more depressing case has emerged: An Australian woman was recently driving while trying to peck out a text message on her phone — and she struck and killed a man.

Yet the judge let her off without any jail time:

“It is tragic that a man’s life was lost in these circumstances but this case should serve as a stark warning to all that the risk is very real and with the extended use of mobile phones generally more public attention should be drawn to this risk,” Judge Cohen said.

However she said she took into account Ciach’s guilty plea, her excellent character and the fact the dead man’s parents did not wish her to be imprisoned.

I, of course, am pretending to be shocked by all this callous driving-while-texting stuff. But the sad fact is I’ve done it myself. At least twice in the last year, while driving a car on a reporting assignment, I’ve whipped out my Danger Hiptop and engaged in prolonged instant-messaging conversations with my girlfriend. Am I on crack or something?

(Thanks to Boing Boing for finding this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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