As most of you who have read my blog posts and seen my TV spots know, I’m nuts about preventing distracted driving, especially when it involves texting and driving.
As a personal injury attorney who handles mainly automobile accident cases, I spend most of my time working on cases where people were severely injured or killed by distracted drivers. Spending ten hours a day working on car accident cases will change the way you see the world. It’ll make you do things like drive a big (relatively safe) SUV when you really want to drive a Prius. It’ll make you worry about your family when your wife is driving your kids to school. And it’ll make you think somebody at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota is a genius for coming up with the idea to use a school bus to nail distracted drivers.
The idea is to have a school bus drive down the highway with two police officers in the back. The officers can see down into the vehicles driving beside the bus. They can see if the motorists are texting and driving or doing other activities such as talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, etc. The surveillance officer then calls to a patrol car in the area and reports the distracted driver, who is then pulled over and cited.
This makes perfect sense to me. The officers are seeing something that is in “plain view”. As a result, they are not violating the privacy rights of the passing motorists. And what better way is there for catching people who are making the roadways deadly by letting themselves be distracted by texts and emails and other things? It’s great that we have a texting and driving law, but it’s awfully hard to enforce because it’s hard to catch violators in the act.
Maybe it’s time for police in Delaware to start using this method to identify and fine violators of our texting and driving laws.