Texting While Driving: Know the Law


When seventeen-year-old Aaron Deveau slammed his car head-first into oncoming traffic, his eyes weren’t on the road. They were focused on a text message — one of 193 texts he sent that day. A few moments of inattention resulted in the death of a father of three, as well as severe injuries to the deceased’s passenger.

In a case garnering national attention, Deveau recently became the first person to be convicted under a new Massachusetts law imposing harsh criminal penalties on anyone who causes injury or property damage as a result of driving negligently while texting. Deveau was convicted of both vehicular homicide and negligent operation and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Deveau also won’t be getting in the driver’s seat anytime soon: his license has been suspended for fifteen years.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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