You are not logged in.

#1 2016-02-11 22:26:02

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,179
Website

APD using buses to catch cell phone users

It's hard to catch people violating the no-handheld-device ban while driving a squad car (if for no other reason that if you're looking at other drivers, you're not looking at the road), so APD hit on the clever idea to have spotters riding on the buses, who then radio in the violators to motorcycle cops.

"[Lieutenant] Gonzalez said he was very surprised at the number of people they issued citations to in their first try. They even let 12 drivers go because they didn't have enough cops to pull them over."

http://keyetv.com/news/local/cracking-d … ed-drivers

Offline

#2 2016-02-12 09:58:34

Lynn
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 22

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

I rode the 801 bus downtown the other day and amused myself by looking to see how many drivers were texting. My estimate was over 1/3. This changed, however, when we got to the Drag: all of the cellphones got put away very fast! It was pretty congested and I guess they all felt the need to perk up and pay attention.

Offline

#3 2016-02-22 17:46:55

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 551

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

Reminds me of this cop I saw riding in Austin a few months back -- it was pretty clear what he was doing.

(Good job, APD!)

Offline

#4 2016-05-10 10:08:26

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,179
Website

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

The catch-testers-by-riding-the-bus program continues.  The idea is that officers can catch people using their phones in their lap.  Otherwise, if a patrol car passes a lap-texting driver, the police can't actually witness the crime, since it's not against the law to look down.

The May 4th effort was the third time in three months APD did the bus-riding thing, and they plan to do it weekly now (presumably until there are too few drivers left to catch).  They issued 71 citations in an hour and forty minutes.

The ordinance took effect Jan. 1, 2015.  They've issued over 5000 tickets since then, over 1000 of those in the first three months (which includes the first-month grace period).  They

The fine is $50 to $500.

So, the good news is that they're catching lots of texters.  The bad news is that there's so many to catch.  (Police say 35 to 40% of people admit to texting while driving.)  People just don't care about other people.  Not surprising that the hit-and-run rate is so high.

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/au … dri/nrJnQ/

http://kxan.com/2016/05/05/hands-free-l … crackdown/

http://www.twcnews.com/tx/austin/news/2 … ivers.html

Offline

#5 2016-05-11 18:37:56

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 195

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

MichaelBluejay wrote:

The fine is $50 to $500.

Better idea:  First offence should get you ten years of hard labor.    I am so sick of the near misses on my life because idiots think their text messages are more important than a human life.

Offline

#6 2016-05-11 20:16:04

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,179
Website

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

That's a little harsh.  How about just take away their driver's license?

Offline

#7 2016-05-13 12:52:57

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 195

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

MichaelBluejay wrote:

That's a little harsh.  How about just take away their driver's license?


OK, maybe so.  Maybe for a second offense then.  But seriously, I would be happy if the punishment for the first offense met the crime.  Taking away their driver's license is a great idea, but many will just drive anyway.  How about some creative sentencing here?   What if offenders lost their licenses for a time and also had to show how they used alternative methods to get around?  Otherwise, they might just bum rides off friends or family and never learn anything.  I think it would be great for these people to know what it actually feels like to walk or bike a couple of miles.  Maybe some of them would come to understand why these safety laws are important.

Offline

#8 2016-05-13 13:11:33

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,179
Website

Re: APD using buses to catch cell phone users

Okay, how about this compromise:  Loss of license for first offense, then ten years of hard labor for driving without a license if your license had been revoked?

BTW, the current penalty for driving on a suspended license is up to $2000 and up to 6 months in jail, though I'm guessing most offenders don't even get jail time.

When I was in the City jail, most people were there for DWI, or driving on a license that had been suspended for DWI.

Offline

Board footer