Minnesota's no-texting law states it is illegal for drivers to read, create or send texts, e-mails or access the internet when a vehicle is in motion, part of traffic, or at a stop sign, stop light or stopped in traffic. Yet last year in Minnesota, 17,598 crashes were caused by distracted driving. 68 were fatal and 8,038 had injuries. Even though Minnesota's no-texting law was passed in 2009, more and more drivers have been caught texting each year.
Police across the U.S. and Canada are using unique (and some obvious) tactics to spot drivers who are texting:
- Panhandlers on the corner.
- Next time you see a panhandler on the corner, it could be an undercover officer watching for texting drivers!
- Getting a bird's eye view of drivers from overpasses.
- A spotter stands on an overpass and relays the information about the violator to waiting officers who then pull over the offender and distribute a ticket.
- Observing the drivers who won't stop staring at their laps.
- Texting drivers also drive slow, weave and are delayed going at green lights.
- Watch that SUV or semi-truck next to you
- Officers get an advantage seeing what drivers are doing when they are sitting higher than other vehicles. Some departments are using semi-trucks and high sitting SUVs to catch violators.
- Texting Detector
- Under development is device, like a radar gun, that will detect if a driver is texting. The company ComSonics says it can tell the difference between a text and phone call.
Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, tripling the risk of a crash. Don't risk injuring yourself or others, and put down the cell phone!