New York State Troopers have been gifted a fleet of 32 ‘tall’ SUVs in order to peer down into the cabins of passing cars to catch drivers that insist on texting while behind the wheel.

The move is part of aggressive new tactics that have been employed in the United States in an attempt to cut down the number of accidents that are caused by distracted drivers each year.

New York State recently stiffened penalties for motorists caught using handheld devices at the wheel, increasing penalty points on the driving licence and boosting the fine up to $200.

Cases of motorists in the state of New York texting behind the wheel have escalated to such an extent that the police have recruited the extra tall, unmarked vehicles in order to ‘peer’ into the cabins of passing cars as well as rebranding motorway rest areas as ‘Texting Zones’.

Major Michael Kopy, commander of the state police troop patrolling the corridor between New York City and Albany told The Daily Mail: “More people are coming of driving age who have had these hand-held devices for many years, and now as they start to drive, they're putting the two together, texting and driving, when they shouldn't.”

Kopy also cited a study by Virginia Tech University that concluded that texting while driving increases the chance of a collision by 23 times.

Closer to home, police in Hampshire employed a similar method during a crackdown on distracted drivers earlier this year when an HGV-qualified police officer drove an unmarked Scania lorry cab so his fellow officer and passenger could record any misdemeanours.

The clampdown caught motorists reading iPads, brushing teeth and even operating laptops while driving.

Do you think British police should be employing similar tactics to the New York State Troopers on a regular basis? Have your say in the comments section below

Leon Poultney


November 26, 2013