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Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:06

Drivers and texters can be arrested now

Written by Nick Farrell

How do you know if a person is driving?

If a person crashes a car while trying to text you, in New Jersey you could be standing in the dock with them. A State Appeals Court judges found that when a driver is texting and causes an accident, the recipient of the texts can also be held liable for negligence.

The decision stemmed from a 2009 accident where a 17-year-old girl, Nelvar Pierre, texted a friend just before that friend crashed his pickup truck into a Morris County couple on a motorcycle. The man and woman on the motorcycle, David and Linda Kubert, both lost parts of their legs. They sued not only the truck’s driver, but also the girl who was texting him.

A state Appeals Court ruled that the girl in that case could not be held liable, but it also ruled “that a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.”

Curiously the person who was sued, Nelvar Pierre, was one of the few people who agreed with the panel. She said that she shouldn’t have texted the person at that time, and I could blame herself. Judges hope that making a legal responsibility for texting to drivers will make the public more aware of the dangers of texting and driving

Nick Farrell

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