Officers going undercover as construction workers to catch distracted drivers

If you are texting and driving, you may be being watched.

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Driving distracted? Expect a ticket. It is a major problem every time you get behind the wheel that can put your safety at risk.

"I see people all the time texting and driving on their phone. It drives me crazy," Katie Lambert said.

That is why police in Gainesville are ramping up efforts to catch distracted drivers.

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"I think it is irresponsible because I think you are putting not only yourself at risk, but others," Lambert said. She works in Gainesville and commutes from Cumming.

Last year, the hands-free law went into effect, but Sgt. Kevin Holbrook, with the Gainesville Police Department, said crashes continue to go up. Channel 2's Lauren Pozen asked by how much. Holbrook told her there are about 500 wrecks each month.

"The majority of those do involve distracted driving. That is simply someone texting and driving, not paying attention. They hit the vehicle in front of them," Holbrook said.


That is why Gainesville police are teaming up with the Hall County Sheriff's Office and Georgia State Patrol for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

"We are going to be aggressive. We are going to be out here. You have to change your habits behind the wheel," he said.

Starting next week, officers will be on the lookout for drivers not following the law. They are not just patrolling, but going undercover, as well.

"If you are driving through a construction zone, that may or may not be a construction worker out there. That may be a law enforcement officer with those construction workers radioing to officers down the street to let them know that you were breaking that law," Holbrook said.

Pozen asked if any warnings will be given over tickets, and Holbrook told her if you are pulled over, expect a ticket.

If it is your first offense, the ticket will cost you $50, and the cost goes up from there.