N.H. Widow Wants to Eliminate Texting While Driving

Two days before Christmas, 20-year-old Travis Hobbs from New Hampshire was texting while driving after lunch when he ran his pickup truck into what media reports state he thought was a snow bank.

Hobbs continued driving without stopping, prosecutors have said in the reports.

An indictment, according to the Union Leader, says the young man hit and killed 71-year-old John Bachman, the retired fire chief of Amherst, N.H., while Bachman was checking his mailbox. Hobbs turned himself into police when he heard about the death, his lawyer said.

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As the case plays out in court, the victim’s widow, Marilyn, is doing all she can to curb the habit of texting while driving. The practice is already illegal in New Hampshire, but many safety advocates want tougher rules.

According to the Nashua Telegraph, the Amherst Junior Women’s Club is working with Marilyn Bachman to discourage distracted driving among new drivers and is supporting a bill to tighten existing laws.

“It’s about being more deliberate when you get into the car,” Christina Zlotnick, an Amherst Junior Women’s Club representative, told WMUR. “It’s not just about young drivers. Marilyn, the widow, really wanted me to stress that.”

John Smith, an area school resource officer, said that the violent crashes associated with texting and driving are preventable.

“I ask [students] how long do you think it takes to type the average text message then compute that at the speed limit in the area and show them you’ve really gone the distance of a football field without your eyes on the road,” Smith told WMUR. “A lot of people don’t think of it in that context.”