Unmarked troopers keep eyes peeled for distracted drivers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Unmarked troopers keep eyes peeled for distracted drivers

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SOUTHAVEN, MS -

(WMC-TV) - If you drive in Mississippi, you better not get caught with food in your mouth. Texting while driving is not the only thing considered to be distracting to people behind the wheel.

State troopers are going the extra mile to make sure drivers are keeping their eyes on the road -- rather than on their phones, radios, or even their dinners.

Mississippi law enforcement will be on the lookout for distracted drivers Friday as a part of the Mississippi Highway Patrol's "Pay Attention or Pay a Fine" campaign.

Deputies and officers will be in unmarked cars looking for drivers who are putting others in danger by not paying attention to the road.

If an undercover officer spots you losing control of your car because you are on your phone, eating, or anything else that causes you to drive in a careless manner... you will be pulled over by a marked car.

In Oxford Friday, undercover troopers spotted about 10 careless drivers in less than two hours. Plenty of them were on their phones.

"Since we do not have a law that pertains to texting and driving we have to use what we do have in place," said John Pouos, Mississippi Highway Patrol.

There are laws against careless and reckless driving, and that is what troopers will be keeping their eyes peeled for.

The issue hits home for Stan Tupman.

"I had a nephew four weeks ago that somebody crossed the median and hit him head-on, and he's still in critical condition," said Tupman.

Troopers think they will see much more when drivers do not know they are being watched from an unmarked car.

"It's kind of sneaky but they're going to catch a lot of people like that," said driver Thomas Johnson, "If you ask me it's a good decision."

After Friday's kickoff, the program will be launched in patrol divisions across Mississippi.

As a clarification, drivers will not get pulled over for something as simple as eating a hamburger at the wheel. The driver would have to be eating and doing something else wreckless at the same time.

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