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distracted drivingIn an incident that could have just as easily have happened in Bakersfield, Fresno, or any other urban area, a San Diego woman was sentenced to six years in prison after a fatal collision that involved texting, talking, and driving.

According to evidence presented at trial, 32-year-old Jorene Ypano Nicolas was travelling 85 mph when she hit the back of an idling car and killed its occupant, 23-year-old Deanna Mauer. Ms. Nicholas evidently sent 13 text messages in the 15 minutes prior to the collision, and picked up a call one minute before the crash. Her attorney challenged the validity of the computer evidence and tried to blame the victim for the crash, but this strategy was obviously not very successful. Ms. Nicolas previously rejected an offer of one year in jail and 500 hours of community service.

In passing sentence on Ms. Nicolas, Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg noted her “deafening” lack of remorse; according to witnesses, Ms. Nicolas returned to her car immediately after the crash to recover her cellphone.

Distracted Driving and Reckless Driving?

While the vast majority of drivers agree that texting and driving is dangerous, the vast majority of drivers also admit that they engage in this behavior. Still others rely on “hands-free” devices that, according to researchers, may actually be more hazardous than hand-held devices.

Given the frequency of distracted driving, as well as its possibly deadly consequences, it may not be long before CHP officers begin writing reckless driving citations in at least some of these instances, as texting while driving certainly involves the conscious disregard of a known risk while ignoring the well-being of other operators and pedestrians.

At the very least, the Legislature may soon consider upping the fines for cellphone use while driving, particularly if there was another violation involved, like speeding or making an unsafe lane change.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.

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