By ROBERT PRINCE / The Haveman Chronicle
ATLANTA, Ga — Judges in Atlanta have an innovative but controversial new way to discourage texting while driving. As of November 1, 2012, anyone convicted of a texting-related traffic offense in the greater Atlanta region will be required to drive through the Atlanta Zoo at 40 miles per hour while continuously texting. “We feel if these people are willing to risk other people’s lives by texting while driving, then their punishment should be risking their own life. If they lose control in here, it’s they alone who pay the price.’ said lawyer Scott Frederickson, who was instrumental in drafting the new legislation.
And some have paid that price. To date, five people have been sentenced to the new punishment. Three of them escaped with cuts and bruises from crashing into concrete structures. Two others were flung from their vehicles into animal exhibits upon impact. Thirty-nine-year-old Brian Creedy and 42-year-old Nicole Jennings did not survive their sentence.
“Boy, they really got it.’ said Craig Chapman, head zookeeper and proponent of the new laws. “[Creedy] plowed into the wall of the lion exhibit while texting his girlfriend about how hungry he was for Taco Bell.’ 19-year-old Emily Stone witnessed the event. “The lions weren’t quite sure what to do with him at first. But then they figured out they could eat him and they had so much fun with that.’
“We’re calling this a win-win.’ said Frederickson. “The violators pay their debt to society and the animals get some much needed entertainment. The lions didn’t even seem to have any trouble passing [Creedy’s] iPhone. I guess it still worked when zoo personnel found it in their stool a few days later.’
Not everyone is entirely on board with the creative new legislation, however. The animal rights organization PETA says they intend to investigate any potential danger to the animals. Their concern was prompted by a minor setback when Jennings was launched into the rhinoceros exhibit while texting her girlfriend about how fat a mutual friend was getting. “We do think Charlene the rhino may have suffered a slight sprain in her ankle while doing away with Ms. Jennings.’ said Chapman. “We’re looking into it, but we do feel it’s a small price to pay for what seemed to be just a delightful time the rhinos had turning her to jelly.’