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Haverhill Texting Prison Sentence: Deterrent To Others?

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – A Judge in Haverhill sentenced an 18-year old to prison for a year on Tuesday, after a jury found him guilty of causing an accident and death, while he was 17 and texting.

But will that prison sentence serve as a deterrent to others?

“I think it’s kind of harsh,” said one driver. ”But yeah, I’d think twice about driving and texting now.”

The state’s new law went into effect in September of 2010, and prevents anyone under the age of 18 from using a phone for anything while driving and prevents any driver from texting behind the wheel.

WBZ-TV asked several young women in Medford if they would text and drive now.

“All my friends do, but I won’t from now on,” said one teenager.

Malden Police Sgt. Bob Dietz points out some numbers.

“If you’re driving 30 mph, you can travel 44 feet in one second. That doesn’t give anyone enough time to react if they’re using a phone, or looking down while texting,” he said.

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