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News: Texting & Driving Laws may stiffen in wake of MA Court Case

Bad news for texting and driving offenders: Most people agree text messaging on your cell phone while driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to deter many people, especially young drivers. All of that may be about to change...

A teenager was recently convicted of vehicular homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle as a result of texting while driving. In February of 2011, Aaron Deveau's car crossed the centerline on a street in the northeast part of Massachusetts. Deveau's car slammed into the vehicle driven by 55 year old Donald Bowley. Bowley suffered severe injuries and eventually passed away. Bowley's girlfriend, aged 59, was also in the car with him and suffered serious injuries.

18 year old Aaron Deveau was sentenced to 2 ½ years on the vehicular homicide charge and 2 years on the texting and causing injury charge. As long has he abides by the rules of his probation, he will only end up serving 1 year in prison. His license will also be suspended for 15 years.

This landmark case illustrates the potentially impending shift among courts to severely stiffen penalties for negligent and reckless driving involving cell phone use. The Massachusetts District Attorney in this case acknowledged "there are no winners today." However, the goal is to deter future injuries and deaths from texting related auto accidents.

News of this case is not going unnoticed. Oklahoma lawmakers are not sitting still with regard to driver safety and cell phones. While this Massachusetts court decision does not technically bind Oklahoma court rulings, it can certainly be used by prosecutors to increase penalties. If you or someone you care about has received a traffic ticket or been involved in an automobile accident, please call our firm to speak to one of our former Assistant District Attorneys at 405-217-4118.

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