GPS: A loop hole in the texting law?
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:45:02 GMT —
Texting and driving is a law that is commonly broken, but hard to spot.
So what are authorities looking for when it comes messaging behind the wheel?
"It was less than a one second text," Dani Felder, a texting and driving accident victim said. "I looked down briefly and looked back up and that's all the time it takes."
Felder knows all too well the consequences of texting and driving ... but like her, many of us still do it and authorities are trying to crack down.
"When you're paying attention to something other than the road, you're distracted," Adams County States Attorney Jon Barnard said. "And when you're distracted you are dangerous."
Still, spotting a texter can be hard.
In the past year, Adams County has only issued 30 tickets for texting while driving. So what are authorities are looking for before they write that citation?
"So we would be looking for erratic driving behavior," Kelly Vandermaiden, pro-act officer of the Quincy Police Department said. "Somebody weaving, somebody swerving in their lane, maybe crossing the line."
But there is one stipulation when it comes to the texting law.
"Under the statute, looking at a GPS system on your cell phone for instructions as to a location is an exception to the rule," Barnard said.
Using your GPS while driving is technically legal but saying you were distracted by it may not always get you out of a ticket.
Looking down at my phone's GPS screen looks similar to texting and to an officer it might as well be.
"It's possible they could get a citation for whatever law they were breaking at the time," Vandermaiden said. "You know the officer became suspicious that there might be some type of impairment."
And even ex driving texters say any impairment behind the wheel, including a message, isn't worth what could happen.
"There is no message you have to send anyone, you know no message in the world that is so important that you can not pull over your car and take the time to do it," Felder said.