Even as texting while driving bans get instituted across the country, communities often struggle to enforce these important laws.
Take Tucson, for instance. That Arizona city approved a ban on texting while driving that went into effect in April. However, since that time, there have been a total of only two citations issued to people caught texting while behind the wheel of a vehicle. That’s about one per month, for those keeping track.
According to the Tucson Police Department, it’s exceedingly hard to issue a valid citation for texting while driving. This is chiefly due to the inability of officers to prove that an individual is in fact texting. In many cases, a person can say they were just dialing a number or consulting their phone so that they could receive directions to their destination.
It also doesn’t help that Phoenix and Tucson are the only places in the state that have a texting ban. According to the state representative who authored the bill in the first place, such scattershot laws make it hard to consistently enforce the bans.
However, the people in favor of the ban state that difficulty should not preclude enforcement. To that end, even though officers don’t receive training on how to specifically spot a violator, there are things that they keep an eye on. Speeding, ignoring traffic signs, or swerving across lanes could mean that a driver has their eyes off the road and focused on texting instead.