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Dumb Criminals Shouldn't Lead To Dumb Laws

Most of the time, when you come across a dumb criminal story, it's harmless. Just a chance to laugh at some idiot. Such as, say, the bank robber in Dorchester, Massachusetts who handed his note to the teller without noticing that the guy in line behind him was a police officer -- in uniform.

And then there's this asshole.

Craig Bigos is accused of texting while driving. He was driving home late one night, sending a text message while he should have been steering. He veered off the road and took out a mailbox. He quickly whipped the wheel around and got back on the road, driving far more carefully and thanking his lucky stars that it was only a mailbox he took out.

But it wasn't a mailbox after all. It was a 13-year-old boy.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering a bill to outlaw text messaging while driving, and they're using the death of young Earman Machado is evidence that it's needed.

It's not.

Bigos is already being charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and driving without a license. Considering that he didn't have a license at the time and didn't stop to confirm what he hit, the thought that a law against text messaging might have kept this from happening is absurd.

Besides, what he was doing was already legal. Every state has laws against distracted driving. Had a cop seen him swerving around while he was thumbing out "IDK. My BFF Jill? LOL!", he'd have been pulled over and cited for that.

It's been noted that the cops in Massachusetts already have over 1300 reasons to pull over a motorist. And there were laws already in place that covered what he was doing.

Toss the asshole in jail. Let him rot for a few years. But his case does not point out any great gap in the laws -- just routine contempt for existing laws, coupled by lackadaisical enforcement.

In other words, par for the course in the Bay State.


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Comments (16)

Hey, chill out JT. That so... (Below threshold)
D:

Hey, chill out JT. That sound you hear is just the usual noise of Beacon Hill stuffed shirts (insert picture of fmr. rep. George Keverian here) trying to use the latest scandal to puff up their own importance. I doubt anything of significance will ever make it to the Governor's desk.

I think a marvelous safety ... (Below threshold)

I think a marvelous safety advance would be a device that blocked all phone transmissions (other than a signal to let you know you had a call) when the vehicle is in gear. Put it in "PARK," and gab or text away. When you're done, drive again.

It may already be illegal in most or all states to drive while distracted, but apparently the message didn't get to about 90% of cell phone users (must have gone straight to voice mail, maybe?) . . .

Maybe they could toss in a ... (Below threshold)

Maybe they could toss in a new 'hate crime' for texting while driving while they're at it. Where's Al?

I think a marvelous safe... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I think a marvelous safety advance would be a device that blocked all phone transmissions (other than a signal to let you know you had a call) when the vehicle is in gear.

What about passengers using phones?

What about hands-free calls (no more distracting than talking to a passenger)?

Massachusetts isn't the onl... (Below threshold)

Massachusetts isn't the only place with this new law, the same law (no text message reading/writing while operating a vehicle) took effect yesterday in Washington.

I heard about where some id... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

I heard about where some idiot lawmaker tried to get a big gun ban pushed through becuase he lost his son to a gun accedent cuase becuase one of his sons freinds got careless with a gun i mean why do they get so stupid these liberal idiots?

I think most states now hav... (Below threshold)

I think most states now have laws against using a cellular phone while operating a motorized vehicle. however, the laws mean nothing until and unless they are properly enforced by a police department that has the time and assets to patrol the roads.

And that won't happen as long as the governments insist on adding more and more laws without taking the time to properly review the results and remove laws that are no longer valid or enforcable. Right now the police have too much to do and unless people want to put a lot more money into enforcement and punishment (and what liberal would do that.) they'll just keep finding that fewer and fewer people have any respect for the laws and that lawbreaking will only become more common, not less.

I have a radical concept. I... (Below threshold)
Bo:

I have a radical concept. If you are at fault for an accident that results in injury or loss of life, you're in big trouble, no matter what you were or weren't doing at the time.

Could work...

Sure hasn't been tried yet...

"Besides, what he was doing... (Below threshold)

"Besides, what he was doing was already legal."
Do you mean ILlegal?

Youre right JT you dont rea... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

Youre right JT you dont really need a license unless someone asks you for one. Thus laws arent going to stop any of this . Throw the book at this guy and get the information out to all those self important knuckleheads and their cell phones

Did someone tell Al Sharpto... (Below threshold)

Did someone tell Al Sharpton it was a [gasp] black mailbox?

This obviously demonstrates the urgent need for hate crimes legislation.

In short, criminal law is n... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

In short, criminal law is not preventative - it's punitive.

We had the No Texting While... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

We had the No Texting While Driving Law (not the official name) go into effect yesterday. It's a secondary law violation, meaning you have to get pulled over for another violation and not just texting alone. $124 fine, too. And in July, a hands-free law goes into effect.

I'm for both of them. Why? Simple. Washingtonians SUCK at driving even without the distraction of texting or yapping while driving a 2.5 ton vehicle. (Yeah, they're are sucky drivers ever where, but we've got'em by the bushel here.)

True, there are already laws on the books against driving distractions (like playing your radio too loud). But adding in the possible consequence of an additional fine on top of, say, a speeding ticket, gives the texting addicted 124 reasons to think twice before doing so.

In the end, though, it's just another way to collect taxes. And I'm all for collecting taxes off asshat drivers... ;-)

People when drive they shou... (Below threshold)
Michael:

People when drive they should be driving... period. Not text messaging, yakking on their cell, watching TV, whacking off, etc...This is a good law.

I meant:People whe... (Below threshold)
Michael:

I meant:

People when they drive... should just be driving... period. Not text messaging, yakking on their cell, watching TV, whacking off, etc...This is a good law.

If we don't want dumb crimi... (Below threshold)

If we don't want dumb criminals leading to dumb laws, we're going to have to stop electing them.




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