Cover, Sept. 20: “Driven to Distraction”

Careless and care less

My family walks, drives, and bikes around Santa Fe and what should be pleasant is frequently unsettling to terrifying. Please follow up your article with some more information about vehicular manslaughter charges in Santa Fe. I read in the Santa Fe New Mexican this morning that all charges had been dropped against Jerry Hicks' murderer (the man run over while riding his motorcycle during a blackout). How exactly can a driver not be charged with anything after killing someone with multiple witnesses at the scene? Do the weak penalties for this type of incident and DWI cases make drivers careless and care less? It makes me angry to know that if a driver runs over me or my child they could get off scott-free by claiming distraction or "thinking about her ex-husband." Keep up the good work.

Heather McClure
Santa Fe

Lemming Alert

Thank you for the article on distracted driving. As a retired safety professional, I believe this is one of the most under-appreciated hazards in the US and around the world. The National Safety Council has found that driving while talking on a phone (never mind texting) quadruples a person's chance of being in a serious accident. The research shows that a hands-free device does not significantly improve one's odds—brain activity that processes moving images decreases by up to a third while on a phone. …

If that isn't scary enough, distracted walking is becoming a significant cause of injuries and fatalities—people hit by cars, even walking off cliffs. The city of London has padded some lampposts to prevent head injuries. Are these signs of addiction?

Capt. C John Graham
US Air Force Auxiliary


In "NOW This" (Music, Sept. 20), SFR erroneously stated the band Tune Yards hails from New York. They are from Oakland, California.

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