Is it Time to Ban Idiots or Cell Phones?


Train engineers, subway operators, truck drivers, bus drivers, pilots, everyday drivers, and others are endangering, injuring, and killing people at a rapidly increasing rate, as they become more and more connected to their handheld and mounted devices; and disconnected from life and common sense. Stephanie Boyd is just one of many examples.

Boyd was the driver of the school bus shown above when it hit the tree. Last July a jury found the New Hampshire resident guilty of a felony charge of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon (the school bus), a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child, and two counts of misdemeanor simple assault for injuries to 2 of the 11 students on the bus. After initially denying using her cell phone while operating the bus, she eventually confessed to initiating a download for Kik (a messaging app) at an intersection during the drive. She later looked at her phone to verify the status of the download. Shortly after that the bus went off the road and struck a tree.

“When you’re driving, whether it’s a bus, your own car, your own children, you should not be texting, you should not be downloading apps. You need to be paying attention to what you’re doing, otherwise there could be some significant damage in terms of life, not just serious bodily injury,” said Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway who prosecuted Boyd.

No. The headline above doesn’t reflect a valid solution to the problem, but it does underscore the dangers of mixing bad judgment, cell phones, and vehicle operations. People like Boyd are responsible for the rapidly increasing number of accidents, injuries, and deaths as they engage in distracted driving behaviors. Nearly all of us are endangered by those behaviors daily. God help us all.


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