People in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky will need to be more aware of their cell phone habits. Police officers are cracking down on drivers who are texting and driving. Starting on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, a two-officer team will patrol the streets of Lexington in search of people who are texting and driving. A $20,000 federal grant will fund overtime, allowing a texting patrol team to work two shifts every day, according to Lexington police.
Texting and driving law
Lexington police are among five Kentucky law enforcement agencies - the others are Louisville, Paducah, the city of Frankfort and Franklin County - in a new pilot program to enforce the state's law against texting and driving, according to Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Lisa Tolliver. Kentucky's new texting and driving law went into effect in 2011 and aimed to cut down on distracted driving, which causes 45% of all car accidents in Kentucky. The law prohibits people from writing, sending or reading text messages, emails and social media while they are driving. However, the law does not ban all uses of mobile devices. For example, phones may be used to send text requests for emergency vehicles should they witness a car accident. Users may also use their phones to call someone or for GPS software or directions. The law is different for people under 18-years-old. It is against the law for them to use a cell phone while driving.
The challenge to enforce this law
One of the challenges for police officers is to actually witness a person texting while driving. If people are allowed to use the GPS function or make a call on their cell phone, then how will the officers know if drivers are just following directions or texting? The answer is, it's tough for police officers to distinguish between these activities. However, if they do catch you, you will pay a $25 fine for your first offense. Kentucky drivers will lose three points on their licenses if they are convicted of texting while driving. You can even lose your license if you lose a total of 12 points in a two-year period.
Related: Kentucky Texting And Driving Law Continue To Concern Police
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I think this is a great program to help cut down on distracted driving. It's such a big on-going issue that causes fatal car accidents every year. If you're driving, please always be careful and be safe behind the wheel.