Texting law leaves truckers feeling targeted
Wed, 27 Jan 2010 04:08:56 GMT —
T ruck drivers know better than anyone how dangerous their thousands of pounds of cargo can be. "These t hings are really big. They don't stop on a dime. So when you hit the brakes it takes a while to stop ," says driver Avel Rocha.
L awmakers believe highways will be safer because its now illegal across the country to text from behind the wheel of trucks and buses. But drivers like Eldon Burgin say if they're going to be targeted, everyone should. "Not just truck drivers, it should be addressed to everybody. People in cars you see it a lot, because we sit a lot higher than they do and you can see down in their cars," says Burgin.
E ven Burgin admits he's guilty of texting from behind the wheel of his rig. But he's willing to think twice after hearing the fine attached to being caught: More than $2,700. Burgin says, "That's more than my whole month's check. I can't afford that. My family would starve."
But the problem is actually enforcing the law. Since truck drivers sit so high up. It's hard for police officers to actually look up and inside of a cab t o see if truckers are looking down and texting. T exting while driving, while against the law here , is generally only enforced if you are pulled over for some other offense.
O nondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says this new ban will mean checking phone records after a crash. Sheriff Walsh says, "We will be able to subpoena the records and see if texting was going on or not." Sheriff Walsh is reviewing the legislation with deputies before he begins to enforce the law.