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Police: Texting while driving tough to prove
Limiting or banning the use of electronic devices while driving in New Hampshire was discussed Tuesday by a legislative committee considering several bills. (MICHAEL KRINKE PHOTOGRAPHY)
Two days before Christmas, John Bachman was getting his mail from the box in front of his home on Boston Post Road in Amherst. As Travis Hobbs, 20, of Mont Vernon was driving by, he was allegedly preoccupied with his cell phone and didn't see the retired fire chief before, or after, he hit him. Bachman died of his injuries. Hobbs, who turned himself in later at the police station, told police he thought he had hit a snow bank.
But Amherst Police Chief Mark Reams said "it is not often that investigators are able to specifically identify texting or cell phone usage as the cause of an accident."
With the records in hand, investigators can often determine if texts were being sent or received at or around the time of the accident. But that information is not definitive.
When it comes to prosecuting drivers for texting while driving when there isn't an accident involved, Nervik said police have an even harder time.
"It is my hope that New Hampshire intends to join other states in considering such measures as a ban on the use of cell phones in any form by novice drivers, or an outright ban on the use of handheld electronic communication devices altogether," he said.
"We as parents need to also set an example for our children while driving, and make every effort to diminish the perceived importance of these instant communications," said Reams, "that phone call, e-mail, or text message can always wait."
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