Police and highway patrol on the Kansas side of metro Kansas City are finding it hard to enforce laws against texting while driving. Loopholes allow it to go on, relatively unchecked as numbers bear out.
Kansas law is pretty clear, stating you can’t drive on road or highway “while using a wireless communications device to write, send or read a written communication.”
Yet, the Johnson County Sheriff's office only issued 17 tickets for testing while driving in 2012. Overland Park Police wrote 45 tickets for the offense in 2011 and 40 in 2012.
We all know that texting while driving often results in accidents, and a New Jersey court recently ruled that it's not only the driver who's responsible-- if you know someone's driving when you send a text, you might be held responsible if he or she gets into an accident.
Topkea, KS – Starting today, texting while driving is illegal in Kansas.
There will be a 6 month warning period before officers start issuing $60 fines.
Captain Art Wilburn with the Kansas Highway Patrol says the law will help improve safety on Kansas roads.
"Folks who are out there texting and driving, their attention is distracted from the roadway and their driving," says Wilburn. "It's not uncommon to see those people involved in accidents where they would run off the road or run into the back of another car."