ASK A TROOPER
Answer: It is true and as far as I know, we are indeed enforcing it, but not without difficulty. Texting is not easy to see at different times, and of course people see our squad cars and are careful not to let us see them texting. I can assure you we are watching out for it, but it is kind of like fishing. We will never get them all.
A lot of people are still texting so yes, you are seeing them. We don’t believe many people are unaware of the law, but perhaps some are. Studies show that just having texting laws doesn’t work. They help, but we do need to step up enforcement and we need all drivers to take personal responsibility for their own actions behind the wheel and not text.
Many people think they can legally text while waiting in traffic at a stop light, but that is not legal either. Inattentive driving is one of the most common contributing factors in our crashes every year, and texting a large part of the inattentive driving problem. Passengers can help be enforcers, by speaking up to stop the driver from texting or talking and offer to help with directions, music and phone calls.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, MN State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN, 56401, or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask a Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.