Landmark Case-Driver Who Hit ‘Distracted’ Facetime Pedestrian NOT CHARGED
Most of us who took driver’s ed, had it pounded into our brains “the pedestrian always has the right of way.” However, after a landmark ruling in a Pennsylvania case, that could be changing.
According to multiple sources, the driver of an SUV that struck a teenage girl who was walking to her high school is not facing any charges, and will NOT be charged for hitting her.
According to NBC10 TV in Philadelphia, the unnamed 14-year-old girl was walking to Abington High School in Montgomery County when she stepped off a curb, directly into the path of an oncoming SUV. The driver was unable to completely stop in time, hitting the girl and knocking her unconscious. She did survive, but officials learned she had been talking on Facetime with a friend, and was completely oblivious to her surroundings when she entered the road.
According to pictures and information at the scene, she was not in a crosswalk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says at least a dozen people die every year due to digital distraction. These people were so engrossed in their phones or digital devices, they didn’t see vehicles and were struck. At least 1,500 people each year have been hurt in similar incidents.
In May 2015, a Texas woman who was visiting Phildelphia died in a Chinatown parade after being struck by a Ride the Ducks boat. Officials say she was ‘buried’ in her i-Pad and stepped out in front of the vehicle. Apparently her family has sued the vehicle driver, the case is pending. But after this ruling, it might be struck down.
Officials say it’s a nationwide problem. It’s gone from funny videos of people in malls walking into poles or fountains, to people actually being hurt in traffic while out walking.
This landmark case, say officials, means drivers involved in these kinds of incidents won’t always be charged or held responsible if the victim is shown to be ‘digitally’ distracted.