Even as states seek to ban texting behind the wheel, drivers continue to engage in the dangerous practice despite mounting evidence as to the dangers. 38 states already ban texting and driving, but citations have been in short supply. The city of Scranton, Pennsylvania wrote but 10 tickets in the first half a year that a ban was enacted, and even Minnesota’s decent-sounding 1,200 citations issued in 2011 are nothing when compared to the 200,000 speeding violators caught in the act throughout the state.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recognized the difficulty of enforcement, and they’re trying to do something about it. They’re giving $550,000 to Connecticut and Massachusetts police departments so that those organizations can implement a variety of techniques designed to catch texters in the act.
The agencies involved hope this will allow officials to figure out what the best ways to identify violators are. A North Dakota crackdown recently netted 31 citations in just a couple hours through the use of high-riding vehicles that let the officers peer down into offenders’ automobiles. The grant money from the NHTSA will do something similar, allowing officers in the aforementioned states to create roving patrols and position officers on overpasses where they’ll be able to identify someone engaged in texting while driving.