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Cop Says He's Written 800 Texting And Driving Tickets This Year


2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit police car

2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit police car

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An Atlanta-area police officer has written nearly 800 tickets this year for texting and driving, WSB-TV Atlanta reports.

Gwinnett County Police Officer Jessie Myers told WSB-TV he has issued more tickets for texting while driving than any officer in the state of Georgia; it wouldn't be surprising if that record applied to other states as well.

Myers said he will probably pass the 1,000-ticket mark before the end of the year.

He catches most of his victims at red lights, where many drivers assume it's okay to play with their phones because the vehicle isn't in motion.

Making a call is legal under Georgia state law; Myers reads a phone's screen, or counts the number of times a driver taps a screen, to figure out what they are doing. If someone taps their phone more than 10 times, he assumes they're not dialing.

All other phone functions are off limits while driving, including GPS. Many Georgia drivers apparently think they can program their phones' GPS on the go for driving directions, but the law only allows standalone GPS devices to be used while driving.

Distracted driving has become one of the top automotive safety issues of the decade. To combat drivers' seemingly irresistible compulsion to pick up their phones, car companies have developed interfaces like Ford's MyFord Touch or Chevrolet's MyLink.

However, these systems can often require as much poking, tapping, and cognitive attention as smartphones. Earlier this year the U.S Department of Transportation issued a set of guidelines for car makers, aimed at minimizing distractions.

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