Cops trying new ways to spot those texting and driving



Cops are trying new tactics to catch drivers illegally texting and driving at the same time. Sure, some of these tricks are being used to write tickets to drive revenue; but the truth of the matter is that real people are getting killed by these distracted drivers. Last year in the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico, there were 3,500 deaths attributed to distracted driving, according to the NHTSA. That was up from 3,200 such deaths in 2014.

If we focused on those cases where the distraction was a cellphone, the number of deaths rose 17% from 406 in 2014 to 476 last year. And the real numbers could be higher. Most participants in a distracted driving related smash up are loathe to admit that they were texting instead of paying attention to the road.

In order to find drivers texting while driving, cops are riding atop tractor trailers in order to look down at drivers in other cars on the highway. Last October, a  cop disguised himself as a homeless bum and placed himself on the median of a busy two-way highway. The 'bum' helped other officers in his unit write 56 tickets for texting and driving over a two-hour period.

Forty-six states have laws against drivers texting while driving. 14 of those states ban any use of a cellphone while navigating a vehicle on the road, including talking on the phone. Unfortunately, even as the police attempt to figure out ways to catch those driving while texting, the number of those doing it continues to rise. In New York, tickets for texting while driving has risen from 9,000 handed out in 2011 to 85,000 in 2015. In Massachusetts, over the same time period the number of such tickets rose from 1,100 to 6,100. And in California, the number of those found guilty of texting while driving went from under 3,000 in 2009 to 31,000 in 2015.


What makes catching these drivers difficult is that in some states, like Florida, texting while driving is a secondary offense. That means that a cop can't pull someone over for doing it unless the officer spots another infraction going on at the same time, such as speeding. And even though most drivers are aware that using their phone while driving is bad, they do it anyway. Fines for first time offenders range from $175 to $500 making it a rather expensive price for drivers to pay for doing something they know is wrong.

source: AP

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19 Comments

1. lyndon420

Posts: 6377; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I wish it was legal to drive around with a paintball gun, and unload onto the windshields of people we see texting while driving. It would get expensive though...lots of people drive while texting...would be alot of paintballs lol.

17. Doogie203

Posts: 15; Member since: Jun 08, 2016

Would be even more accidents due to paint covered windshields

2. Fona13A unregistered

How about just putting a round in the phone and hope it explodes? If you want to trip on razor's edge go to a run down neighborhood and sling crack, just stop endangering law abiding citizens with your fake-diamond studded phablet.

3. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I never understood texting while driving. Just call. Use your one headphone and call. Get a Bluetooth and use it over the car stereo. There are options. In many cases, the one wbo caused the accident and lived.

6. Fona13A unregistered

Or how about just pulling into a parking spot if it's extremely urgent?

11. GreenMan

Posts: 2687; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

For the first time EVER, I agree with Master Techie... While driving: Call > Text Don't get me wrong, I love texting for several reasons (Explained in another post here)... As a matter of fact, I mostly text unless I've to start a conversation... But I never make a HUGE text conversation thread, because that's what calling is for... I mostly text just from 1 to 4-5 messages at once... And I think everyone should do the same... Anyhow, G'Day!

12. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 959; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Or, say "Hey, Siri, send a text to 'so-and-so' I'll be there in 10 minutes" "Send". Don't even have to touch my phone and it's set up through my cars stereo system. It's f@cking 2016, nobody needs to be looking at their phone to do something as simple as sending or replying to a text.

16. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Unfortunately, many people still don't know how to use their phones properly, never mind vehicles. Many don't even know their new cars support CarPlay and Androidauto. Also, can't tell you the number of distracted drivers had to be extricated from vehicles.

18. Doogie203

Posts: 15; Member since: Jun 08, 2016

Most people that get caught texting and driving are millennials so I'm sure not knowing how to use their phone is the problem . Most people are too busy to just pull over every time they want to respond to a snapchat, or use the GPS, or reply to a text. It's not about urgency it's about convenience. The problem is people can't drive . I text, use FB, Apple Music etc every day while driving and have never been distracted enough to cause an accident.

4. Babert

Posts: 165; Member since: May 08, 2013

well hopefully the technology will get a point that the car would react to the usage of the smartphone! and it's doable, if we use our phones to unlock or start our cars then the car can react to a distracted driver! by signaling! something like when you don't have your seatbelt on!

5. Fona13A unregistered

There needs to be a feature lock trigger for phones in cars, a proximity based system that jams excessive screen-on time.

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

proximity? what if someone use phone on passenger seat? :-/

10. GreenMan

Posts: 2687; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I guess the passengers have to 'suck it up' for the sake of humanity... I'm an avid texter... It saves time, network bandwidth, your hearing, your battery and your money... But as a matter of fact, texting while driving is WORSE than yapping... When you're talking, at least your eyes are on the road... But when you're texting, a little screen is your whole world... Please... TEXT RESPONSIBLY... G'Day!

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

just increase the fine to $1000 and increase it ten folds for repeat offender ($10,000 on second time he caught doing it again, $100,000 on third, so on)

9. GreenMan

Posts: 2687; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

No ibend, that's not going to change 'Americans'... For that, you need... Wait for it... Wait some more... A MOBILE JAMMER...! Yes, you heard me... But there's a problem, a HUGE one, you won't be able to call 911 for emergencies... Self driving cars? If not then what...? Err... Glue their heads to the back of their seats...? Darn, this old man is out of options...! Oh well... I guess Americans will always be Americans, eh? Long live The Aussie Land...! G'Day!

13. fur0n

Posts: 82; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

well, given the numbers, with a given 56 tickets given out in a 2 hour period; then we can see that if there were that many people at all times, that would be 245,280 people texting from that one spot on a highway in a given year. then we were to assume that there were that many people per 50 states, which would be 12,264,000 people. Then there would only be a 0.0000388% chance of someone texting while driving getting in an accident. Excuse me while I go back to eating while driving(1). 1.http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/eating-driving-80-car-accidents-study-shows-article-1.427796

14. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Dennis?

15. chrisdistaz

Posts: 14; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

What’s really disgusting is how many people here are government power worshipers. Texting while driving is dangerous… but what’s even MORE dangerous is encouraging cops to become heavy handed thugs over stuff like this…. Since cops are the MOST likely to talk and drive and text and drive. But I don’t think there is ONE person on this forum that is gonna paintball a cop car or stop a cop from doing it, even though the law just so happens to exempt cops from these things. (you know, cops are trained in texting and talking while driving and us little peons are not allowed) I mean we have people posting here that they wish it was legal to paintball others cars who are texting. So damaging people’s property is a solution? Not to mention, that in and of itself paint balling someone’s car may cause a crash. This attitude that’s so present on this forum is the most “I worship government” attitude I’ve seen in a while. Ticketing has ONE primary goal. And that is revenue, Pure and Simple. And the way people legitimize ticketing is disgusting! The demise of Liberty happens because of this attitude! Cops almost NEVER ticket other cops that are off duty. Just so you know…. We call this a caste system. Were others are treated differently in the eyes of the law because of their positions.

19. kevin91202

Posts: 640; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

"... a cop disguised himself as a homeless bum..." -Alan F. (PA) Bum? So, if you're homeless, you're a bum? Where does PA find these writers? Idiocy at its best.

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