KTHV reports that an 18-year-old UA student died after being struck Saturday in a campus crosswalk by a 17-year-old driver using a “hand-held device”

Was the driver texting or talking? The article doesn’t say. The legislature in 2017 increased the fine for texting while driving. But people younger than 18 are prohibited from using a wireless device at all, even a hands-free device. (Hands-free operation is less safe at any age, legality notwithstanding.) The driver, who was visiting UA and is not a student, was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and use of a handheld device while driving.

More details from 40/29. The victim was in a crosswalk on Garland Avenue between the Garland parking garage and dorms known as the Quad.

The current Arkansas legislature is talking about stiffening the law for to stop hand-held phone use in school zones. How about stiffening the law to protect people of all ages everywhere. Many countries ban all use of wireless devices while driving. Just a thought. But I’m afraid, in the U.S., the unfettered ability to yak has become just about as sacrosanct as guns.

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