Starting Monday, June 10, 2013, the Massachusetts State Police will begin a pilot program designed to catch drivers texting behind the wheel in the Greater Lowell and Lawrence areas according to a story in the Lowell Sun. The “Text With One Hand, Ticket In Another” program will take place in two to four week intervals over the next two years, with the first installment running through the end of June.
Officers will be looking for telltale signs of texting which include drivers putting their heads down while driving and erratic driving patterns. Enforcement strategies will be adjusted as time goes by.
State troopers saay that enforcement is all about saving lives. In 2012 alone, State Police officers have issued over 1,700 tickets for texting violations on the Commonwealth’s roadways. Violations of the Massachusetts law prohibiting texting and driving have caused 120 crashes across the state in a year and a half.
The greater Lowell region was chosen for the pilot program because it holds the dubious honor of having the highest rate of roadway accidents in the state. The region had over 1,300 drunk driving cases and over 3,700 crashes.