Texting and Driving
If you spend any time on the road, chances are you've had a close call because someone was texting while they were driving. Cops have noticed this and now they're cracking down on it.
Everyone knows it's dangerous to use your phone while driving, but that doesn't stop many of us form texting, talking and messing around with our mobile devices while on the road. Distracted driving is a national epidemic.
In the blink of an eye, disaster can strike. In one dramatic video, a bus driver transporting handicapped passengers in San Antonio, Texas was caught texting for six minutes before he slammed into a car stopped on the road in front of him.
Distracted driving has gotten so bad, law enforcement task forces around the country are cracking down.
Watch INSIDE EDITION's investigation.
INSIDE EDITION’S Lisa Guerrero hit the streets with police officers in Nassau County, Long Island and troopers with the New York State Police.
“We will not tolerate you talking on your cell phone or texting, ”New York State Trooper Heather Lynn Sinkowitz told INSIDE EDITION.
Troopers are getting creative, using special SUV's that some are calling spy vehicles. They blend in with cars on the road. They're just a little bit higher up, which allows a clear view to catch driver's in the act.
In Nassau County, Long Island, a woman was arrested after police caught her using her cell phone while driving, It turns out her license had been suspended. She's pled not guilty.
Guerrero asked police officer Steve Lincoln, “So if she hadn't been texting and driving, she wouldn't have been pulled over to begin with?”
“That's correct,” he said
“You are seeing it's younger drivers that are texting and driving?”
“Usually,”Officer Lincoln responded.
We quickly found out how widespread the problem was. Almost everyone was distracted while driving.
“License and registration. Calm down, you're not public enemy No. 1. You do know texting and driving is highly dangerous,” Officer Lincoln told an upset passenger he pulled over.
Trooper Sinkowitz observed a doctor on his way to work messaging with his office. He was given a ticket.
“His eyes were completely off the road, he wasn't looking at the road at all, ”Trooper Sinkowitz told Inside Edition.
The trooper found another guy who was texting and barely paying attention to the road.
“Sir, I want you to pull to the right side of the road,” Trooper Sinkowitz shouted to the trying, trying to get him to pull over to a safe place on the highway.
He was given three tickets.
The trooper explained to the driver why he was stopped. “You were texting while you were driving and you went off the roadway twice and hit the rumple strips right next to me. Now, do you remember why I stopped you?
We found people of all ages using their phones. Even a grandmother was caught. “What's scary is that she had her pre-teen granddaughter in the car front seat with her while she was talking on the cell phone.”
One texter got off easy with a friendly warning. "Bud, I’m going to let you off with a warning today, ”Officer Lincoln told the lucky driver.
Guerrero asked the driver, "Why did you do it in this case?"
“I had a text coming in. I wanted to reply to it now instead of waiting. Sometimes I might forget,” he told Guererro.
“Not a good idea,” said Guerrero.
“I know, I know,” he said.
While everyone knows the dangers, nobody expects a tragedy to happen to them.
Dave and Linda Kubert were riding their motorcycle just a mile from their New Jersey home on a quiet road when a pickup truck slammed into them.
Dave told INSIDE EDITION, “After the impact, I saw my leg come right off. I could feel it come right off.”
Not only did David lose his leg on impact, Linda's leg was so mangled it had to be amputated.
“It happened because the kid broke the law. He was texting while he was driving. I lost my leg and my wife lost her leg and he changed our lives forever,” said David.
The Kuberts hope drivers will learn from what a seemingly innocent mistake has done to their lives. “Put the phone down. It can happen like that to you. Like that (snaps finger) it can change your life forever.
Linda emphasized, “Do not text and drive.”
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