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Sending Text Messages While Driving, Let's Make Up A Law We Can't Enforce.
I am a police officer, I patrol the streets and enforce traffics laws of Alabama. One thing I know for sure is I cannot prove in a court of law whether or not someone was sending text messages on a cell phone while they were driving.
This huge media enhanced rage against this is preposterous. Any fool who thinks wasting a butt load of time by getting legislation passed and all the things needed to make a law legitimate and enforceable should be put in a padded cell.
I have written many speeding citations in my career, most people will concede they were speeding and plead guilty.
However, there are always the innocent grand standers who will spend more money on a lawyer to defend them and demand a trial. They have that right and are afforded due process. I haven't lost a case yet, here is why.
In my experience with various judges, they are concerned with the officers credibility with the court and his testimony. They are then inclined to make a decision based upon that credibility and testimony since the defendant has very little or no credibility with the court.
The defendant will say when they looked down at their speedometer, it indicated they were not speeding. They always fail to mention it was only after they noticed a patrol car that they took their foot off the accelerator and slammed on the brakes then looked down.
Then I testify to the court that I am certified in the observation of vehicle speed. Then I go on to explain on the day in question I observed the vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed, I checked my radar unit and it indicated my suspicions were true the car was in fact travelling at 75 MPH. I then stopped the vehicle that the defendant was driving, indicating the defendant by pointing them out in court, and issued a citation to him.
That doesn't prove he was speeding but my credibility has tremendous inclination for the judge. The radar unit could come into question as to its credibility, but we have ours certified once a year and the judge is made aware if necessary.
That sidebar has nothing to do with texting while driving. How in the world could any officer prove or even have the credibility to say someone was sending text. Maybe the phone was ringing and they were looking at caller I.D, maybe they were reading the daily weather statement. What if they were enjoying the new Hannah Montana skin on their phone?
I want to read about the first huge life saving conviction on this heinous crime, please send me a text when it occurs.