Texting and driving ban could be hard to enforce - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Texting and driving ban could be hard to enforce

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed a texting while driving ban, and although the law does not go into effect until August 1, east Alabama law enforcement is gearing up for the new law.

Checking your e-mail, or sending a quick text may seem harmless, but when you do it behind the wheel it could be deadly.

Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said, "It certainly is a much needed law. We have lots of accidents since this whole texting phenomenon has come about but it is going to be taxing to prove on law enforcement."

We've all seen people trying to type a message while they are driving down the road, but how easy is it for an officer to catch? Sheriff Taylor told News Leader 9, "We see a lot of good in the law but at the same time it is going to be difficult. When you think about the practicality, how can I prove you were texting in your vehicle?"

And even if law enforcement lucks out and sees someone texting while driving, what measures can they use to prove it? Taylor answered, "Maybe a search warrant to prove the time and date, maybe searching the drivers phone, which they would have to consent to. There are a lot of issues around proving. I don't think you can just say "he or she was looking at their phone."

Before Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor sets out a game plan to catch driving texters, he says there is one important conversation he needs to have, "One of the first things I'll do is sit down with the district attorney and ask what they need in order to prove this case in the court of law. Based on that, we will try to train our deputies to retrieve that information."

WTVM actually drove around for a little more than an hour to see if we could catch people texting and driving. Believe it or not, we did not find a single person using their cell phone behind the wheel. Law enforcement hopes they have better luck than that when it comes to enforcing the new law.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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