On his 15th birthday, Christopher Hill got his first cellphone. For his 16th, h e was given a used red Ford Ranger pickup, a source of pride he washed every week.
Mr. Hill, a diligent student with a reputation for helping neighbors, also took pride in his clean driving record. “Not a speeding ticket, not a fender bender, nothing,” he said.
Until last Sept. 3. Mr. Hill, then 20, left the parking lot of a Goodwill store where he had spotted a dresser he thought might interest a neighbor. He dialed her to pass along news of the find.
Mr. Hill was so engrossed in the call that he ran a red light and didn’t notice Linda Doyle’s small sport utility vehicle until the last second. He hit her going 45 miles per hour. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
Later, a policeman asked Mr. Hill what color the light had been. “I never saw it,” he answered.
It's time to talk about how we can give up cell-phone use while driving.
Let's stop pretending that we aren't doing it, that we're doing it safely, or that it can be done safely. There's too much evidence that none of these things is true.