Mom caught driving with her Toddler in her lap while texting

A California mother of three, Shawndeeia Joann Bowen, has been charged with three counts of child endangerment. The crime? Driving while texting... with her toddler in her lap!

The Hawthorne, California resident was caught several days ago driving along the 405 Highway. (Keep in mind this is one of the busiest and most traveled roads in the country.) Police pulled her over from a tip from another motorist driving along the 405. He saw Bowen driving in her car with her toddler in her lap while texting and thought her actions were so dangerous that a call to 911 was justified, and it seems police agreed with the concerned motorist.

The Torrance City Prosecutor's Office has officially charged Bowen, 29, for several crimes. Among the charge are three counts of child endangerment which includes being charged with two counts of violating a court order, driving without a valid license. (Bowen was driving on a suspended license when she was pulled over by police.) Also they are accusing Bowen of three driving infractions, two regarding the fact that she did not have her three children properly restrained in a seatbelt or carseat. The third infraction was for driving while using a wireless phone. Bowen could get up to five years in prison, if convicted on all counts she is being accused of.

According to the UK's DailyMail Bowen was not wearing a seatbelt when pulled over. None of her children were properly secured in seatbelts or car-seats either. Especially the one-year-old that was sitting in her lap!

The children, who are one, two, and four years old, have been taken into protective custody. Bowen's bail has been set at $131,000 dollars.

It should be noted that Bowen has had other issues with the law. She is currently on five years of probation for a child abuse charge in 2010, which she pleaded no contest.

Also the mother-of-three has had many other driving infractions according to KTLA in Los Angeles. These include driving with a broken windshield, having no car insurance, not wearing a seatbelt, failing to use child restraints on separate incidents, driving with defective lights, having no license plate, getting into several car accidents, driving with a suspended license before, etc. Bowen has repeatedly failed to turn up in court for various charges.

I am sure most competent drivers out on the road have seen some stupid maneuvers and people doing crazy things in their cars. Most drivers can get easily distracted with all the technology around us these days.

However, this doesn't really excuse Bowen's actions and it seems she has proven to time and again to be not only putting in danger others driving distracted, but her own children. Personally I think the best course of action would be to revoke her license. Might this be too harsh a punishment?

Seems I am not the only person with strong opinions about this as the blogosphere, especially Mommy bloggers, have been covering this story with great interest. I encourage my readers to share your opinions about distracted driving.

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