I'm sorry. This is A Thing for me. Cars and drinking. Cars and texting. The arrogance of not thinking about others.
Anthony DePalma wrote a short NYTimes op-ed called "Did a Text Kill My Brother". His piece is not only well-reasoned, it is reasonable. In the same place I would have been crying and screaming and wanting the head of a "young waitress at a Monmouth County country club" on a platter. Actually, I did.
In the end, this woman who quite likely killed someone walked away with "several traffic violations, including a $100 fine for texting while driving" and a 90 day suspension of her driver's license. For my family it was 9 years in jail for a chronic drunk driver.
The problem in DePalma's case was that the there was not an exact match between the time of texts and the time of the accident. 90 seconds difference. There were eye witnesses, including a police detective, retrieved phone records and an admission that "I might have looked down".
DePalma's article is a calm call for more explicit laws about what constitutes texting while driving. I admire his reserve, his taking this tragedy and trying to make something better for people in the future. I think this young woman who killed his brother was selfish, arrogant, and far too concerned about herself. We won't know whether she ever learned or grew from this. It would be nice to think that she did. But there are actions that make me think not: she tried to erase her texts. There was no data to suggest that she owned up to the consequences of her actions. Personal responsibility is not necessarily a strong trait in the American public. OTH, finding hope were we can, this story suggests that at least some people got the message.
Cars are 4000 pounds of unyielding metal. When they hit people, walking or on bicycles or even in other cars, they are moving and have significant momentum and force. We let children (and 16 year olds are children) and irresponsible adults (40 year olds with 5 DUI convictions are irresponsible) use these devices with impunity. We, as a society, argue about access to guns. We think, as in movie ratings, that sexuality is more detrimental than violence. We are only now getting to the point where car deaths are approaching gun deaths:
American society argues about morality in terms of letting two people in love marry because its not "Christian". But where the hell is morality of children who kill, our teaching to these children (aka driver's ed), and what we, as a society are doing about cars a lethal weapons? Many things are very wrong in world.