Woman jailed for texting while driving
Predictive text fails driver
If you’ve ever wondered what the point of phone applications blocking you from driving and texting are, just ask 21-year-old Philippa Curtis.
Curtis, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, has been jailed for 21 months after smashing into a stationary car at 70mph while texting on her mobile phone, according to a report by the BBC.
The crash killed another motorist - Victoria McBryde – who was dealing with a burst tyre. After the impact, Curtis' vehicle twisted into the path of oncoming cars, hitting two of them.
Curtis admitted sending text messages while driving, but denied using her mobile phone at the time of the collision. The court was told she sent and received more than 20 text messages before the crash.
Judge Julian Hall stressed that driving and texting is "folly and madness".
The judge also handed Curtis a three-year driving ban. ®
Driving like an idiot <> using an offensive wepon
FFS people, its not like she was trying to kill people. She wasn't brandishing her car under the nose of an old lady to steal a purse. She didn't wave her car in the air to look tough. So stop all the analogies to a deliberate attempt at murder.
However, she was being bloody stupid and should suffer the consequences.
@What is prison for etc.
Many things, but one of them is punishment. There will be the punishment in that she will be in prison for 12 months or so and also the punishments associated with having been sentenced to prison for more than 12 months (jobs, travel etc.).
Another very important one is that for whatever time she spends in prison she will be completely unable to kill anyone whilst texting in control of a car. You have seen the reports, she believes that texting whilst driving can be acceptable. Even in court where she should be saying whatever it takes to get a lighter sentence she still basically says "The law may say texting whilst driving is wrong and dangerous, but in my vast experience and with my overwhelming intellect I disagree". To me this at least suggests that she is a candidate for repeat offense.
To make this point more we need to remember that she is not saying that she used to think texting whilst driving could be OK but now she has seen the error of her ways, or that she made an error of judgement in doing so, she was saying at her trial that she believes (present tense, even given the stark consequences of doing so) texting whilst driving can be OK.
We're already heading there...
Over here on the other side of the pond, New York State is seriously looking at legislation that not only prohibits texting while driving, but also much further. There is even talk of a complete cell-phone ban, including when using hands-free. Most of this is coming in light of a very tragic accident almost 2 years ago when 3 graduating seniors from a high school were killed in a head-on accident with a truck after their SUV crossed into oncoming traffic. The proponents of the law point to the fact that the driver's phone sent a text message just seconds before the impact (and of course the driver must have been texting on their phone, not one of the others in the car).
[As you can guess from my tone, I don't think that was the cause -- I put it down to the piss-poor driver training in NYS: the driver had just passed a vehicle when her car swerved back across the road -- sounds more like she over corrected when pulling back in and lost it.]
While I agree something has to be done, I get really worried about knee-jerk responses. The real answer isn't in prohibiting everything, but in better education. Telling someone "Don't do that" only teaches them not to get caught. Teaching them them why it is a bad thing has a much better result.
I'm afraid I'd have to agree over the issue of jail time.
3 years locked out of society has serious ramifications. I believe a lifetime driving ban should be automatic for those who kill through gross neglegance, but I know if I were in the slammer for 3 years, I'd be almost as scared of coming back out to the tattered ruins that used to be my life.
The job would be gone. Getting another with a mysterious 3 year blank space on my CV would be virtually impossible without having to explain, and that's NEVER going to look good in an interview.
What about my house? What would happen to the rent payments? After that, what about all my furniture and possesions?
Chances are, I'd return to society with no money, no home, and no job prospects.
That I'd consider a pretty hefty punishment.
People look at prison time as some finite block with a beginning and an end, but what many don't realise is that an experience such as that never leaves you, and will leave an indelible mark on the rest of your life.
Unless of course you're one of these benefits scrounging counsil estate lard-ball single mums, then it'll just be like having an extended babysitter.
Again career criminals (a dying breed) look upon it almost as a forced business vacation with training thrown in.
People like that shouldn't be jailed. They should be press-ganged into hard time breaking rocks and fixing roads, with both their food and oxygen strictly rationed.
Perhaps then, after three years of sweating out all that benefits bought gravy, these people might be able to perform some useful function within our society. The kids would have also had a better upbringing.
Perhaps the point I'm making is that if you have something, anything to lose, jailtime will take it from you. Generally, those who have something to lose have earned it.
So prison is an inconvenience to those who never contributed to society in the first place, but a life destroyer for those who have.
It's an unbalanced method of punishment, and was never meant to be used as such. Only as a means of removing continually dangerous elements from our society
I think most of the commenter's have been saying that 21 months jail is not enough, on the basis that the three year driving ban is an absolutely negligible punishment.
Locking her up for life may not be a good use of tax-payers money, but this really does not send out much of a message to those like her who still use their phones while driving - if this is all she gets for causing a death, nothing is going to happen to "me" - "I'm not going to kill anyone, so even if the Police stop me all they will do is tick me off."
Punishment for causing death by dangerous driving is not a sensible deterrent - if only the title were correct, and she had indeed been jailed for texting, without the need for the unnecessary death.