Rumor or Not… PSA

There was some shocked whispering among Good4 and her friends this past holiday afternoon. Apparently a former classmate hit a man while texting and driving and the poor fellow is in critical condition. That wasn’t really what horrified them, though. What horrified them was that she had to be bailed out of jail for yom tov. Crime? Reckless endangerment, possibly manslaughter. Sentence? They were murmuring about years.

Or something like that. I’m not sure how reliable Good4 and her friends are as news sources. But that’s not the point.

There’s a vague, perhaps smug assumption that since we’re all good moral people who don’t mug people on street corners, drink and drive, or sell drugs, we’ll never land in jail or otherwise rub shoulders with the sort of people who do. Sure, we may rip CDs we don’t own or download textbooks or speed, run stop signs, and not declare every bit of cash income on our tax returns, but that’s small stuff and doesn’t hurt anyone – at least not anyone we know – and not very much.

I don’t remember the context, but some enthusiastic teacher in my past hammered into my head the phrase “Adam mu’ad li’olam.” A person is always responsible for his/her actions. So, for example, if you’re in control of a couple of tons of metal and glass machinery capable of reaching high speeds and acquiring large amounts of momentum – which means it’s not so easily stopped or redirected – you are responsible to take care that it doesn’t harm anyone. If you’re in a congested area where the situation can change in a moment, you are expected to take extra special care in directing your heavy machinery.

And no, it is not freakin’ cool to text, post, write, type, dial, read, or otherwise distract yourself from your windows and mirrors with a phone, BlackBerry, iPod, iPad, iTouch or any other gadget web-enabled or not. You (yes, innocent lil ol’ you) could wind up being guilty of causing someone’s death.

Homicide.

Yep, killing. Comes with a jail sentence too. Cool, no?

One thing I wonder: what was her text about? Was it worth it?

PS: This one out of Australia courtesy of SiBaW (warning: it’s graphic, but hey, that’s life. Or could be.)