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More On Distract Driving and Law Enforcement-Involved Collisions
February 28, 2013
“What we have to do is face up to the limits of human performance” says Dr. Bryan Vila, a professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University. Vila, a member of the SAFE Driving Campaign Research Team, is leading the nation’s first study to quantify how distracted driving affects law enforcement officers. The study is partially funded by POST and is expected to be completed this summer. Study results will be shared with law enforcement agencies nationwide.
In the meantime, we need to better educate administrators and officers alike on the hazards of distracted driving. The below collection of articles emphasize the challenges and risks that radios, cell phones, GPS devices, radar, and laptops create for officers while driving.
Several of the articles cite a device that disables in-car computers once the vehicle reaches a predetermined speed (say 15 MPH) except for one-button functions such as marking en-route or on-scene calls. This makes it impossible for officers to compute while driving, even though their call screen remains visible. POST does not endorse specific devices or manufacturers. Nonetheless, we believe that the benefit from systems that limit an officer’s use of their in-car computer while driving is worth considering.
And stay tuned because the next “Did You Know?” SAFE Driving video (currently in production) will be on the topic of distracted driving.
Wear your seatbelt, watch your speed, and practice SAFE driving!
The SAFE Driving Campaign is a POST initiative focused on reducing fatal and serious injury law enforcement traffic collisions nationwide. For further information regarding the SAFE Driving Campaign, visit the SAFE Driving Campaign on the POST Website or contact:
Robert "R.C." Smith, POST Senior Consultant
Training Program Services Bureau