As we await the numbers from the Maui Police Department of the tickets written in April for distracted driving, a sad story from North Carolina reminds us of the dangers of the practice.
A week ago Thursday, 32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford of Clemmons, N.C., was driving in the nearby community of High Point. She was also updating her Facebook page while she drove.
According to the High Point Enterprise, at 8:33 a.m. she updated her Facebook status with the note "The happy song makes me HAPPY."
At 8:34 a.m., police and rescue workers were called to the scene of a crash. Sanford's car had crossed a median into oncoming traffic, slamming into a truck. Sanford was killed upon impact.
Police said she was also taking "Selfies" of herself while she drove.
Like Maui, North Carolina has a law against texting and using cellphones while driving. It is forbidden while operating a vehicle to "manually enter multiple letters or text in the (mobile telephone) as a means of communicating with another person."
The Enterprise quoted Lt. Charles Lanier of the High Point Police Department as reminding drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
"You've got to pay attention on the road," Lanier said. "There's so much going on, you can't afford to be looking down at a phone or a computer or taking pictures of yourself. That takes a great deal of attention off of what you're doing. Nothing is worse than losing your life or the life of someone else to tell people how you're doing."
Maui police staged their annual crackdown on distracted driving in April. Last year, there were 1,118 tickets written. This year's numbers should be released soon.
Courtney Ann Sanford's story is yet another sad reminder that a car becomes a deadly weapon when the driver is distracted.
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