As difficult as it is to practice what you preach, when it comes to distracted driving Texas police need to follow their own advice. A local news investigation found that crashes involving distracted driving by police were becoming more frequent across the state.
Whether on two-way radios, smartphones, dashboard-mounted computers or on-board cameras, Texas police officers have racked up more than 70 crashes in two years due to distractions inside their vehicles. And those are the ones that were reported due to the amount of damage they caused; minor accidents were not reported.
Kevin Navarro, a top driving instructor at the Dallas Police Department and a leader of ALERT International, a national organization of police trainers, believes that all the technology inside the vehicle that officers must deal with could have something to do with the uptick in accidents. Officers sometimes forget the potential dangers that juggling all that equipment can cause.
Some police departments have strict policies on how much a police officer can do while driving; others have no restrictions. To cut down on the distractions, new technology is available, albeit pricey, to allow officers to use voice commands instead of typing. Other technology could also lock computers while the care is in motion, but some departments worry that would prevent vital information from being exchanged when needed in an emergency.
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