Research in recent years has shown that it is extremely distracting and dangerous for drivers to type or text while they are driving. However, until recently it was the policy of the Dallas police to allow police officers to text or to type on their mobile dashboard computers while driving.
NBC5 in Dallas did an investigation that lasted nearly a year into police officers driving and typing. In July of last year, the deputy police chief told the news organization that the department had no policy against officers typing while they were driving. The chief later said that typing while driving was banned by police officers, unless the device is essential for the emergency and there isn’t another employee who is available to use the device.
The investigation found that many other Texas police departments have more clearly defined rules about when officers can type and when they cannot. Also, the investigation found police officers in the Dallas area rear ending other drivers and running off the road. There was even one accident where a police officer was typing, crossed the center line and hit another car head-on.
Overall, there have been 17 Dallas police crashes in the last four years that were caused by typing on devices. However, this represents less than one percent of the crashes in Dallas in which the police were involved. There have been discussions about putting safety measures in place in police cars, such as technology that will prevent officers from typing if they’re driving over 15 miles per hour. In some cases, however, the police will need to have the option to type in an emergency.
Although police officers try hard to keep Texas citizens safe, typing and driving at the same time is dangerous. If you have been in an accident with a police officer in the Dallas area, call the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. Our attorneys have years of experience with car accident cases and we look forward to helping you.