Despite efforts from law makers, distracted driving continues to be a significant and deadly factor on our roads. Even though 44 states have banned texting and driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that at any given time, over 600,000 drivers are manipulating some kind of cellular device while operating a vehicle.
In 2012, accidents caused by distracted driving killed 3,328 drivers and injured over 421,000 more. Texting is the most deadly form of distracted driving, actually tripling a driver’s chance of being involved in an accident. It remains, however, a difficult offense for law enforcement to detect.
The violations for texting vary depending on where you commit the offense. First-time offenders can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $250. Approximately one-third of states consider texting behind the wheel a moving violation, while others assess points against your driver’s license.
However, if you have a prior texting ticket violation or if your texting violation involved an accident, the implications could be more serious. Penalties can jump dramatically and even include jail time in some states for texting accidents involving injuries. Additionally, negligent drivers can be held liable in car accident lawsuits, requiring the services of an attorney.
Law enforcement has gotten creative in their effort to crack down on those who continue to text behind the wheel. Here are the latest law enforcement tactics for spotting distracted drivers:
Street Corner Panhandler
Particularly popular in Canada, cops dress as panhandlers, complete with old clothes and tattered signs and as they approach vehicles, they will be looking for drivers using their phones. In one day, officers in Burlington, Ontario wrote 111 citations.
Drivers of High-riding Vehicles
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo devoted $1 million to altering a fleet of Chevy Tahoes for law enforcement’s use. When the high-seated officers spot a motorist texting, they slap first-time offenders with fees of $50 to $150 and five points on their license.
The state of Connecticut was recently awarded $2.3 million by NHTSA to experiment with high-visibility tactics. Spotters stand where they have a clear view of vehicles passing slowly, such as intersections and traffic signals, and look for motorists using cell phones. When they spot one, they radio all the pertinent information to officers standing ready to issue the citations.
Other ways of identifying texting motorists include simply looking for drivers staring at their laps, and use of cellphone records for repeat offenders. And coming soon, officers may actually have use of a detection device that identifies between texts and phone calls.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with a traffic offense, such as texting while driving or DUI, you need an experienced Boulder criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.