Posted: 5:13 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

Cop claims he’s issued nearly 800 tickets for texting and driving

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Gwinnett cop issues nearly 800 texting while driving tickets photo
Gwinnett cop issues nearly 800 texting while driving tickets

By Amanda Cook

GWINNETT COUNTY —

Channel 2 Action News has learned one Gwinnett County police officer has given more tickets for texting and driving than any other officer in the state.

Ch. 2’s Amanda Cook spoke with the officer about how drivers are making it so easy for him to give the tickets

Gwinnett County Police Officer Jessie Myers said if you do anything on your phone besides make or receive a phone call, he will pull you over. He said the most common place to catch you in the act right at traffic lights.

“I’ve written almost 800 tickets for unlawful communications device this year," Myers said.

Myers expects he'll reach 1,000 tickets by year's end.

"Probably not going to be hard for me to do at the pace I'm on," Myers said.

Myer said he sees most people typing away on their phones while waiting at red lights.

"Most people think they're safe there," Myers said.

However, he said it’s still illegal.

"At a red light, you're still driving. according to the law. You're on a roadway, behind (the wheel of) a car, in charge of it, with a vehicle in drive," Myers said.

Myers said most people don't realize you can't access any Internet or web-based data while driving.

"All applications are web-based to some extent, including navigation," Myers said.

One driver said she was just using her phone's GPS. The law forbids that and Myers issued her a ticket.

"That's right. You can't use your navigation while driving. Unless it is a GPS-only device, such as Garmin or Tom Tom, something that is not used as a communication device," Myers said.

The officer told us a little trick he uses: If he can't see your screen directly, he just counts the number of times you touch your screen.

“If it’s beyond 10, they're not making a phone call," Myers said.

Eight hundred tickets later, Myers hopes some drivers have learned phones are for phone calls only.

"This may stop them from picking up their phone five miles down the road or three days from now,” Myers said.

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