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Unrestrained Kiddos In The Backseat Will Get You A Ticket
Texas Troopers say they issued 141 tickets to motorists for having unrestrained or improperly restrained children in their vehicles found during a weekend traffic detail at a state park. They say the checkpoint Sunday morning at the entrance to the park showed youngsters lacking required child seats, booster seats, seatbelts, or some combination of those. Drivers were issued tickets. State police say the checkpoint tickets are part of a summer-long effort to ensure the safety of children in vehicles.
Coasting down the tree-lined parkway a State Trooper scans his eyes from driver to driver, on the prowl for people violating the state’s ban on using cell phones behind the wheel. “Got one,” he announces. Within a moment, he triggers a switch, and the red and blue lights of his unmarked police SUV illuminate. He changes lanes and signals to the driver of the Ford E-250 to pull over. The driver throws his hands up in exasperation, hurriedly tossing his cell phone to the passenger seat. The attempt to conceal his phone is in vain, as are his desperate arguments that the call was for work. The officer issues him a citation. He is on the front lines of a state crackdown on distracted driving. As a two-hour ride in his vehicle on a recent afternoon made clear, he is in a target-rich environment. Even as many drivers now understand that phone use while behind the wheel is dangerous, they feel powerless to resist in the face of work and social pressures that demand connectivity. “It’s so second nature for people to use their phones,” he said. “It’s like a new appendage.” In a mere two hours on he ticketed nine drivers. Six said they were using their phone for work. Reactions ranged from resentment to resignation, although some drivers offered bizarre explanations for their phone use. One young woman driving a Honda Odyssey had her eyes glued to her phone’s GPS. She had a corpse and casket in the back of the car.