On March 20, 39-year-old Bobbi Reeves’ Dodge Durango drifted into the oncoming lane on Route 202 and ran head-on into 71-year-old Richard Leighton’s Chevrolet pickup, killing him.

A series of head-on collisions that mimic this crash have occurred these last few months. Facts of this head-on collision are yet to be revealed, but I wonder if cell phone distracted driving played a role, given the reported circumstances.

By now every sane person knows that the use of cell phones while driving, especially the use of a phone for texting, significantly impairs the driver and is a serious danger to all the rest of us. How many of us has to be killed by these scofflaws (people who know the danger but do it anyway) before stringent laws are enacted and enforced to stop the insanity of driving a car while criminally impaired by using a cell phone?

There is evidence that cell phone use, especially texting, impairs drivers more significantly than does driving drunk. It is now long overdue that legislation be enacted requiring crash investigators to immediately retrieve cell phone records of drivers involved in a crash. If records show a cell phone was in use by a driver responsible for a crash resulting in a death, that driver should be automatically charged with felony manslaughter.

Jim ChiddixWaterville

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