Police Hit Texting and Talkers Where it Hurts

Comment By Bob L.
June 2nd 2013

All Government and Civil l Service Employees should be held accountable as do the American People for the laws of this Country.

I support our Police and our Military, but when it comes to enforcing the law, all Law Enforcement Personal who are supposed to enforce that law, should not be exempt from it, that does not give them the right to do what they are stopping the people for, I have seen these officers doing just that while driving down the road.

If that is the only way they can get dispatched, then they are violating the law that they are sworn to enforce, look around, you are seeing more Companies using CELL PHONES to dispatch their employees then Radios any more.

Now you have Companies using texting features to route their trucks, and these are supported by Government Agencies so they can track hours of service and the operation of the vehicle when  stopped, but in the mean time these drivers are using them while driving, even though the Companies tell you not to, but on the other hand, these Companies are sending messages and want a reply now, and not at your convenience.

When vehicles are equipped with this type of dispatch, keypads should be inoperable and  unusable while in motion, and don’t say it can not be done, any thing today can be done with Electronics and sending units, if you can send how a vehicle is operated through a satellite, you can disable their operation in the Vehicle to where you can  not receive or send until the vehicle has stops for at least TEN Minutes.  

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The Puyallup Herald

Puyallup police hit texters and talkers where it hurts

By ANDREW FICKES; The Herald
Published: 05/31/13 3:32 pm

Along Meridian in downtown Puyallup facing city hall, the Puyallup Police Department is out in force and pulling over distracted drivers — texting and talking on their cell phones — as part of a county-wide emphasis patrol granted-funded by the Washington State Traffic Commission.

The extra patrols, funded by a $10,000 grant, were completed June 2. Puyallup Police Department, according to Sgt. Bob Thompson, received $2,500 in grant funding that supported an additional 36 hours of staff time spread across May 22, 24 and June 1. Three officers on those three days each worked an additional four-hour shift each day, totalling the 36 hours. Thompson said that over the first two days, 110 traffic stops were made and 79 tickets were cited.

“The majority of those were texting and talking violations,” Thompson said. “Not wearing a seatbelt were secondary.”

As an indirect result of pulling drivers over for texting and talking on their cell phones, Thompson said a number of other violations were cited, including suspended licenses for prior DUIs and outstanding warrants.

“We made an impact on Meridian at the 300 block in front of city hall,” Thompson said. “We’ve been working Meridian steady for the last four years with the grant money. We sit there and do that every day. Distracted driving is priority No. 1 for our department.”

Thompson said the department uses a method that incorporates an officer on the street that spots a distracted driver and then alerts officers ahead to stop the driver.

Thompson said that distracted driving is a huge cause of injury and traffic fatalities on the roads. Thompson said that outside the county-wide emphasis patrols that the Puyallup Police Department participates in, the department is “always committed to whatever traffic safety measures we can do.”

Thompson said it’s alarming to see how many distracted drivers there are driving Meridian.

Puyallup Police Department was one of dozens of city agencies in the county that participated in the extra patrols and were supported by the Tacoma-Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force as part of the Target Zero — a program working to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.

More information can be found at http://www.targetzero.com or at http://www.wtsc.wa.gov.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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