Officers Target Texting in Pennsylvania, But Difficulties Persist

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Even as texting while driving bans get enacted across the country and communities step up to make their roads safer, enforcement continues to be a problem.  Barring a handheld cellphone ban, which is currently only available in a handful of areas, it has proven difficult for officers to verify that texting has occurred.

One police department is trying to improve their ability to enforce a texting ban.  The North Huntingdon Police Department of Pennsylvania does so in a unique manner that seems quite logical once you step back to consider it.  Because only texting is illegal whereas talking or even dialing or not, it can be hard to guarantee the person was texting.  That’s why cops are instructed to look for ten taps on the device.  That’s because a phone number will be ten digits long.  Any more than that, and it’s likely that the person is texting.  Police are instructed to pull the person over at that point.

But even this isn’t without its difficulties.  The statewide ban has only been available since March 8, and 901 people have been cited for the offense since that time.  However, that’s not the number of people who have agreed to pay the $50 fine that comes with a ticket.  Given a lack of proof, some people simply dispute the citation and judges have to dismiss the charges.

Let’s hope that texting bans can be more easily enforced throughout the country in the future.