WEST BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – One town is getting tough on drivers who are using cell phones illegally.
On Friday, West Bridgewater Police took to the streets for the fourth time this year looking for texting drivers.
The latest efforts by Lt. Victor Flaherty and the West Bridgewater Police Department resulted in 105 stops and 42 tickets issued within four hours on a stretch of Rt. 106.
Lt. Flaherty says a lot of the drivers were quick to offer up excuses.
“They can’t stop. When that phone rings or that text comes in, they can’t stop themselves from looking at it,” said Lt. Victor Flaherty.
Other drivers argued they weren’t texting.
“Instagram, Craigslist, updating Facebook accounts, putting in an order as a salesman,” said Lt. Flaherty.
The problem is, those actions are also prohibited.
“They’re just trying to skirt around the law. If they’re on the internet at all, it’s in the texting law,” he added.
Some studies show that more and more people are ignoring that law.
“I found out on this stretch of 106 that almost 70 percent of the accidents in a three month period were all rear end accidents. People aren’t paying attention,” said Flaherty.
To enforce the law, the West Bridgewater cops had to commit six officers to watching a single section of roadway.
“We have to do these operations, these elaborate operations to get this done, and it’s really not cost effective,” he said.
Flaherty suggests a better solution would be to change the law and prohibit the use of handheld phones while behind the wheel.
“We need total hands free, and it’ll be much more enforceable,” he said.
In their enforcement efforts this year, West Bridgewater police have issued 157 citations for texting.
Online: West Bridgewater Police