This has got to stop.
By now everyone knows or at least has heard that texting and driving is dangerous. People still do it, believing they’re the exception to studies which have shown that texting while driving is equivalent to driving drunk. Recently, a man in Florida was found guilty of causing a deadly crash back in 2016 while he was texting and driving, demonstrating there are real consequences to this reckless, selfish behavior.
According to ABC Action News, the case didn’t get a lot of attention. We admittedly don’t recall hearing anything about it, and there isn’t much about the trial and verdict in the news. But this establishes an important legal precedent that people who text on their phone while driving will be held accountable for causing accidents.
Like in many other states, it’s illegal to be using a phone while behind the wheel. That law passed in 2019, three years after this little boy was killed. The family and others are fighting to make the law tougher, with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd calling it “a clunky law.” It sounds like there are many holes in it, unlike texting and driving laws in other states.
The report says this is the first sentencing for a texting while driving case in Florida. While the details are horrific, watching a mother sit on the witness stand and describe turning around to see her child turned blue with blood trickling out of his nose is horrifying. We wonder if the guy who killed this innocent child because a text message was apparently that important still realizes what he did.
That’s the thing about texting and driving, it is fundamentally selfish. You’re putting at risk everyone around you on the road all because you just can’t wait to text someone. While we would be upset to see a teenager doing something so stupid, adults really ought to know better. And yet they still do it.
The 30-year prison sentence Gregory Andriotis was handed by the court won’t bring back the 9-year-old boy who was killed by his reckless, selfish behavior. But we hope this is a wakeup call for anyone who has a habit of texting while driving. We see this too much on our local streets, with drivers behaving unpredictably while they’re wrapped up in some conversation that could easily wait.