Inroad Press

Police Use Tall New SUVs to Look Down On Texting Drivers


Police in New York are using tall new SUVs to get a birds-eye view into cars while looking for texting drivers. The unmarked vehicles allow officers to check for cell phones on laps or held below window level that could not be seen from standard patrol cars. According the Associated Press, the 32 new SUVs are part of a program called CITE, or “Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement,” aimed at citing motorists for distracted driving while texting or talking on handheld cell phones.

New York is one of 41 states that ban texting while driving, and one of 12 that ban all use of handheld cell phones while behind the wheel. Some studies have reported that even hands-free use of devices is distracting enough to drivers to be dangerous. The debate is increasingly relevant as users of electronic devices become accustomed to constant connection and interaction. The addicting level of activity is difficult to curb, even when it is known to increase risk of injury or death when combined with driving.

While rest areas and highway turn-offs used to appeal mainly to drivers with biological needs—bathrooms, food, a nap—the urge to stay connected brings a whole new meaning to the question of whether a driver can “hold it” until the next opportunity to take a break from driving.

Photo: Steven Damron