Texting while driving is dangerous, and to ensure the safety of its motorists, New York has made it a primary offense for a driver to use a cell phone at all. The problem with a ban on texting while driving, though, is that it can be hard for police to enforce the law since most people text with the phone down by their lap.

To combat this, The New York Times says that the New York State Police just received 32 unmarked SUVs so its officers can look down into cars to see what drivers are up to. Aside from the fact that these SUVs are grey in color, the article did not say what type of vehicle is being used. While it could easily be a police-spec Dodge Durango, Chevy Tahoe or the Ford Police Interceptor Utility (shown above), it could also be just a random SUV make and model. Texters beware.

New York's ban on texting and cell phones is one of the most aggressive in the US, including five points on the driver's record and a fine of up to $200. Over the summer in a two-month span, 5,553 drivers were ticketed for this offense. In addition to fines and penalties, though, the state has also set up Texting Zones for motorists to pull over and make phones calls and send text messages.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 80 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      If texters are so distracted, you can probably sneak up to them in the Oscar Meyer Wiener-Mobile.
      john m
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good! Go get 'em!
      tom.rivetti
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good move. Texting while driving is a stupid menace on the road that needs to be eliminated ASAP. That Explorer in the photo is a real looker. Just wish it still came with a V8.
      Lastchance
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for New York. I wish Massachusetts would get tough on distracted drivers. We have a law against texting but I don't hear of it being overly enforced. I almost had an accident today when heading to work in Boston with an idiot who I soon realized was texting on her phone. She was completely oblivous to incident then proceeded to keep texting and holding up traffic with her erratic driving. If it is so damn important then pull over to the side.
      BryanGx
      • 1 Year Ago
      I live in New York. I am also a lawyer. I honestly can't figure out what's legal and what's not. Obviously texting while driving is illegal, but what about my handheld GPS? From what I can gather, I'm not even allowed to touch the GPS while the vehicle is in motion, unless it's actually secured to the vehicle with a little suction arm. If it is on an arm, then (as I read the law) I can not only touch it but push the buttons, change the zoom on the map, etc., as well. However, the way I read the law it makes it sound like I CAN touch and hold a phone while driving, as long as I don't hold the phone up to my ear. But if I happen to be using the GPS function on the phone, then I think simply holding it becomes illegal again. And the worst part is, I have no idea whether any of that is actually correct.
        BipDBo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BryanGx
        I believe that the law reads, "if they want to pull you over, whatever you are doing is illegal." Perhaps it's time for a protest. Everyone drive past Bloomberg's residence while texting, drinking a big gulp of Mountain Dew and chewing a deep fried stick of butter.
          drolds1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          What does Bloomberg have to do with this? He's the mayor of NYC. The article clearly states that the NY State police will be conducting this crackdown.
          BipDBo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          I read over that nuance. I just assumed it was New York city.
        Krazeecain
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BryanGx
        This is mostly my issue with these new anti-texting laws. I get why they exist, and I think it's ASTOUNDINGLY STUPID to try and text while driving. But I still don't like these laws, they're just too vague and often poorly written. Back when I had my 'vic I had a normal stereo mounted under the dash and a tablet mounted where the old deck used to be (synced to the deck via bluetooth). I was always super paranoid about some dumb-ass cop pulling me over for that...
      ThinkAboutIt
      • 1 Year Ago
      And whose going to police the police. You don't know how many times I see them driving around with a cell phone to their head and blatantly texting while driving.
      bullitt2605
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems to me they should go after all bad drivers fine them and explain to them why what they are doing is wrong and dangerous rather than just going after the big ticket infractions. I also don't think there should be unmarked cars, police vehicle presence it one of the biggest deterrents there is.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good job,NYC. Maybe one of these days Sea Urchin will get pulled over.
      Black Dyanmite
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Police State grows..... BD
        Basil Exposition
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        You sound like my parents
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Basil Exposition
          Smart parents.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        Police State? Yes, by enforcing a law against people creating some of the most dangerous driving situations on the road. Some of you guys are just complete morons. I bet you'll be the first person to complain when someone is not watching where they're driving and they're texting and end up hitting you. People need to drop the stupid Police State rhetoric.
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Hi sir, even though I constantly drive at 40 mph over the speed limit, while using a laptop, talking on my cellphone and my radio, I pulled you over because you are a dangerous menace on the road with your possible texting"
        A P
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jonathan Wayne
        What a moron you are.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jonathan Wayne
        Yea, litter harsh. They are usually about 30 over while on the laptop and eating.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jonathan Wayne
        The funny thing is, I've never seen a police officer crash while talking on the phone or using their radio or computer quick for information on a call. on the flip side, I literally see every single day people holding up traffic in the passing lane, swerving, crossing lines all while visible holding a cell phone in their hands.
      oRenj9
      • 1 Year Ago
      I personally think this is ridiculous. It's a waste of tax payer resources and it's too easy to abuse. Plus, it doesn't actually fix the problem; when you're speeding and you see a cop on the side of the road, you're going to slow down. Even if the cop isn't pulling people over, their mere presence is enough to moderate traffic. Unmarked police vehicles do not have the same effect. I don't agree that people should drive while texting, but I also don't agree with paying a bunch of dudes to drive around and pull people over for it. This program is going to cost millions of dollars per year to operate.
        kqr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @oRenj9
        "Paying a bunch of dudes to drive around and pull people over" for violations of various laws is pretty much the definition of law enforcement, at least the patrol function, and in particular the traffic enforcement officers. Your various "arguments" about enforcing this law could also be applied to the enforcement of ANY traffic law, and they would be as nonsensical as they are in this case. And yes, marked units have a deterrent effect even when they don't have someone pulled over, but UNmarked units also have a deterrent effect when people see them with someone pulled over, or like in this case when it's publicized that plain cars are out there watching. People realize they're around and, unlike marked units, you won't be able to see them coming.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kqr
          @ThinkAboutIt Actually the police have no duty to protect. If someone threatens you and/or your family the police do not have to do anything other than file a report.
          ThinkAboutIt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kqr
          Says the cop and all his numb skull cronies. Their job is to serve and protect and that's the extent of their "law enforcement" in the US. Go to a library and get yourself and up to date copy of your local laws and see how much power the "police" DONT have. A cops actions are based on his/her presumption of what you don't know about the law.
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who will monitor the distracted police who use those laptop things mounted to the center console?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @xspeedy
        [blocked]
          xspeedy
          • 1 Year Ago
          There have been situations where cops have been in accidents while using them on the move.
          Israel Isassi
          • 1 Year Ago
          Don't know about the rest of the world, but I've seen the police driving around Houston while the driver was using their computer.
          b.rn
          • 1 Year Ago
          Aaron, They do wait until stopped for some functions. However, I can assure you that for some functions, they use MDCs while driving. For example, they're not going to stop the vehicle to run a license plate or check the status of a call they're enroute to.
          Jonathan Wayne
          • 1 Year Ago
          Police in my town are always using the computer when they are driving.
          miketim1
          • 1 Year Ago
          I have seen multiple police here in NY using their cell phones and driving
        Bernard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @xspeedy
        Those computers should automatically lock at 15+ MPH unless it turned towards the passenger seat.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @xspeedy
        The computer is essential to their job function. I know all you police haters think they're browsing facebook when in fact a lot of the information on a call they're going to will be sent through their computer not to mention they often have mapping up as well to find we're they're going easier.
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