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A Massachusetts teenager on Wednesday became the first person in that state to be convicted of causing a fatal traffic accident while texting, and a judge sentenced him to one year in jail.

Aaron Deveau of Haverhill, Mass. was sentenced to 2 1/2 years behind bars with a year to serve and the remainder suspended for the February 2011 crash that took the life of Donald Bowley Jr., 55, of Danville, N.H., and seriously injured Bowley's girlfriend.

Prosecutors say the then 17-year-old high school student sent 193 text messages the day of the crash, including some just a minute or so before impact and dozens more after it.

Deveau testified Tuesday, saying he was not sending or receiving text messages in the moments before the collision. He said he put his phone on the passenger seat and was distracted and thinking about his homework when the crash occurred. He told police after the crash that he swerved to avoid another vehicle in front of him that suddenly hit its brakes.

Prosecutors knew that the teen had been texting even though the accused had tried to delete some texts from his phone after the accident. An analysis of Deveau's phone records, obtained during the investigation, revealed his texting pattern and the court did not believe texting did not contribute to the fatal accident.

As a majority of states have adopted anti-texting laws, police and prosecutors have had little problem obtaining court orders for phone records that show a defendant's texting behavior during the time of a vehicular accident.

But police do say that enforcing anti-texting laws in the absence of an accident is very difficult.
"In theory it's [the anti-texting while driving law] a great law. It's just tough to enforce," Lt. Kevin Walsh of Wareham, Mass. told SouthCoastToday.com. "It's tough when you're driving around to actually see them texting," Dartmouth, Mass. Detective Robert Levinson also told the website.

In order for police in any state to hand out a ticket or pull a driver over, an officer has to actually see a driver doing it.

The Department of Transportation is considering new regulations that would severely restrict the ability to use cell-phones and smart-phones in cars while they are moving, including mandating equipment that would jam phone calls and texts from coming and going if a car is moving faster than 10 miles per hour.

Meantime, auto companies are introducing gadgetry to their newest vehicles that allow a driver to have texts and even Facebook updates read aloud while a driver is operating a vehicle, and for the driver to be able to respond hands-free through audio-to-text software. Regulators, however, are not keen on that level of distractions in the car even if it is hands-free.


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  • 307 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      What do you expect from white devils. Hopefully he killed another white devil.
        dcrazysnake
        • 3 Years Ago
        Jai (what ever kind of name that is?) If the "white devils" are treating you so bad? Do like all of your bros are doing. Rob someone. Take that money, buy yourself a "ONE WAY" ticket to Africa. One there, tell everyone how bad it is back in the U.S.
        • 3 Years Ago
        What ever jai, you just want us white devils to disappear so the U.S can become a backwards 3rd world country. Then you can build your very own home made of feces.
      • 3 Years Ago
      hummm a death and only one year???? so sad
        Diane!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        How long does it take for a kid to absorb a lesson? Don't you think he'll "get it" after an entire year in jail? A year is an eternity to someone that age, not to mention that it will be on his record for the rest of his life. It will inhibit opportunities and job offers. Kids aren't any smarter than back when I was a kid. All of his friends do it, and nothing had happened. My point is, his friends will think twice. Had one of HIS friends ended up in jail, he probably wouldn't have texted that day. Kids can be smart, but seldom do they have much wisdom; that comes from experience and an older age.
      jesusandme46
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is ten times better than huffington post. no stoping freedom of speech here.obama doesnt have any pull here thank god
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jesusandme46
        silly
        natalie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jesusandme46
        mikey please know that it is stopping not stoping, and please do capitalize God...
      • 2 Years Ago
      IMHO, texting is a compulsive behavior disorder just like excessive gambling, drinking, shopping, etc. and should be treated as such. Unfortunitely. I have yet to hear of a 12 step program for texting.
      devilsrain
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Meantime, auto companies are introducing gadgetry to their newest vehicles that allow a driver to have texts and even Facebook updates read aloud while a driver is operating a vehicle" Because Facebook updates are necessary while driving. Holy F%@K
      • 2 Years Ago
      what the hell is anyone doing sending 193 text messages in one day?!?!?!? GET A LIFE.
        • 2 Years Ago
        i usually sent out 5,000 a month and i work fulltime and go to school full time maybe you should follow your own advice
      richrokosz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Time for some old broads to create "MACPU" (Mothers Against Cell Phone Users)...if we could only get them to put their OWN phones down.
      • 3 Years Ago
      um... texting on average (least for my crap phone) rarely sends a text instantly - many times i wil send 5 or 6 text, and it wont have a clear signal, and will send them anywhere from seconds or minutes later - i dont think this kid has a crap phone, so he looks like some pink rich kid. Noone can blame texting for killing people - but you CAN blame the ignorant people who do it while driving.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You must live in BFE. My wife, and friends that live more than 100 miles away, both receive texts instantly...I can send a text and then have a response in less than 30 seconds. Texting can and apparently did kill someone.
      JON
      • 3 Years Ago
      So when a citizen sees a cop on his phone or typing on his PC wile driving can we tape it and bust them too. Or don't the laws apply to the cops.
      Ed
      • 3 Years Ago
      One year? One year? They should shove his ass in there for 20 years...
      zoseph
      • 3 Years Ago
      Death Penalty.
        croshatch
        • 3 Years Ago
        @zoseph
        While I'm emphatically against texting while driving, that seems a little harsh.
          spdy65
          • 3 Years Ago
          @croshatch
          would you feel it harsh if it were your loved one dead? I doubt it....
      VIKTOR
      • 3 Years Ago
      hey
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