VPD Texting and Driving Operation
Victoria Police Department teamed up with Victoria Transit to conduct a texting and driving operation, Newscenter 25’s Griselda Perez got an inside look.
After an hour long drive with VPD, the amount of people who are texting while on the road is truly noticeable. VPD Sergeant William Bernard spoke about the efforts to warn drivers of the consequences.
“The Victoria Police Department has noticed an increase of people texting and driving and crashes as a result of [this]” says Sergeant Bernard.
Victoria Police Department has recorded the intersections with most crashes involving texting. Navarro St. and Zac Lentz, or more popularly known as “the loop” take the top spot with 29 recorded crashes or incidents.
“…being on the phone in itself is not illegal, but actually sending and receiving or reading electronic messages- that’s what’s illegal-that’s what’s causing the distractions and crashes” adds Sergeant Bernard.
VPD rode in a small transit bus as unmarked police officers drove alongside. The task? Looking for distracted drivers on their phones.
Texting and driving is considered a class C misdemeanor in the state of Texas and can cost a distracted driver up to $200 on a citation.
“We can drive down the street and they don’t even see a police officer next to them driving, and we sit there and watch them and that’s how distracted they are they’re not even paying attention to what’s going on in their surrounding” he adds.
VPD wants to be able to alert drivers to stay cautious, as they plan on conducting more texting and driving operations in the near future.
“put your phone on silent, put it away so you don’t have the alerts going off and drawing your attentions to your phones, so put your phones down and keep your eyes on the wheel” adds Sergeant Bernard.