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Driving while texting, with baby: Torrance mom arrested

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Driving while texting is frowned upon -- but with a baby on your lap? And more kids unsecured in the back seat?

According to KTLA, the LA Times, the Huffington Post and a million other news outlets, a Torrance mom named Shawndeeia Bowen did just that, rolling down the 405 earlier this week while soothing a baby on her knee and tapping at her phone. Torrance police say a fellow driver on the freeway saw the dangerous activity and called police himself -- in fact, he followed her with the phone to his ear till police could catch up -- resulting in her arrest April 3.

Bowen “was found to have a 1-year-old infant on her lap while texting and driving,” police reported. “Additionally, a 2-year-old was found unrestrained in a car seat and a 4-year-old was found unrestrained in the back seat.”

Bowen’s car was impounded, her children given to the Department of Child and Family Services, and she was arrested on charges of child endangerment and driving with a suspended license, police said.

The 29-year-old mother of three has had plenty of other driving citations, records show, especially more stuff like this. KTLA reports that she’s been cited for “not having insurance, not wearing a seat belt, not having a valid driver's license, driving with a missing license plate, not obeying traffic signals, not using child restraints, having defective lights and having a defective windshield or rear window” -- and she’s been in two car accidents, has failed to appear in court several times, etc. She’s kind of a nightmare behind the wheel, in other words.

Still, some of us old enough to remember, say, yellow Ford Pintos can also remember a time when nobody wore seat belts, ever. The kids just crawled around in the back seat, and babies really did ride behind the wheel. Those were the days.

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