State troopers in North Carolina have a new method of catching people who are using a device to text while driving.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers are now wearing plain clothes and riding along in state transportation trucks to better spot motorists texting and driving, the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reports.
When a trooper in the pickup truck spots someone sending off a text message, they notify another nearby officer in an unmarked police car, who will pull the person over and write a ticket.
"We see the growing trend and we see wrecks, especially involving our young population teenagers, 20 year olds, where the primary cause of the collision, and fatal collisions, have been distractions,” North Carolina State Highway Patrol Master Trooper Chris Knox told TWC News.
The Randolph County office of the N.C. Highway Patrol recently carried out an enforcement campaign along U.S. 64 near Asheboro. More than 10 citations were issued during the campaign.
But Knox says it led to a lot more than just texting while driving citations.
There were 1,928 citations overall, including driving while impaired, reckless driving, speeding and seat belt violations.
Texting and driving is prohibited in North Carolina. Drivers caught may face court costs of up to $288 for a texting and driving charge, MyFox8.com notes.
"We want to inform people about the dangers and try to make a difference before we have to deal with these fatal collisions," Knox said.