GREENSBORO, NC -- 2WTK invited two police officers, a state trooper, a state legislator and a local prosecutor to our studios to start the discussion about making our texting and driving law tougher.
This meeting came about after 2WTK's Ben Briscoe recently camped out at a Greensboro intersection to see how many people he caught texting and driving. After only an hour he said he saw one in five drivers texting or doing something with their phones while driving.
You know you've seen it happening on the road next to you. But the number of tickets handed out didn't seem to add up to all the drivers you see texting.
In 2011 officers in the Triad's 14 country viewing area handed out 194 texting while driving tickets.In 2012 it was 239 tickets. And in 2013 police wrote 367 texting-while-driving- tickets. That's it. We asked a local lawyer why the number seemed so low.
"Law enforcement has a very difficult time distinguishing whether somebody is dialing or texting. So you're not seeing a whole lot of tickets being given for texting and driving. It's very difficult to enforce, " explained David Daggett of Daggett Shuler Law.
Police officers also told us it was difficult to enforce. If enforcement's the problem we thought, shouldn't our lawmakers be able to change the law do something about it? Did each side know the other's problem? That's when 2 Wants to Know decided to do our part to get folks together and start talking about making change.
This round table lasted quite a while. We have the entirety on-line. During our newscasts, we showed two 2-minute segments. Included in the round table are: Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Knox, Veronica Edmisten Assistant Guilford County D.A., Winston-Salem Police Officer Robert Peterson, Greensboro Police Officer J.B. Price and Representative Stephen Ross of Alamance County (REP). Representative Evelyn Terry of Forsyth (DEM) was invited and was on her way here but unable to get to the station in time.