Absolutely, yes. Mr. Sevenish is a former police officer, Captain, and SWAT Team Commander and he says:
“I can tell you firsthand police officers are profoundly affected and sad when being forced to deal with the tragedy of a significant crash affecting so many others in result —even those not directly involved in the crash. And unlike the average crash victim, police officers deal with it nearly every day of their long careers. There is nothing worse than a police officer being forced to handle a significant crash to innocent people, especially those involving children and infants, directly due to a driver becoming needlessly distracted. Distracted driver accidents are more times than not, clearly avoidable and preventable.”
Some professional law enforcement agencies, such as the Indiana State Police and others, have prepared educational videos making drivers aware of distractions causing crashes with injury and death. Some of these educational videos are found on our site and on this channel for viewing.
Further, laws in many states allow police officers to pull over drivers they see violating a ban on texting or hand-held phone use. Other states allow law enforcement to make a note of whether a driver was using the phone at the time of an accident.
Most likely, police will assign the blame for a crash on a driver distracted by a phone or other device, or any distraction, if there is evidence to support the use of distractions of any types (which is of course more than use of cell-phones).
However, as a practical matter, it remains extremely difficult for any police officer to make a clear determination that a crash was caused by a distracted driver unless the officer witnesses the distraction him or herself, or without an admission by the driver—which is rare—or other facts supporting evidence of distraction.
And all states have laws against reckless driving, which can be used in situations where distractions pose a clear risk. Most professional law enforcement continues to educate individual drivers one by one as they observe distractions firsthand and before a crash occurs.
And many, such as the Indiana State Police, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and others regularly offer ongoing educational programs to the public on the hazards of distracted driving. Police can only do so much.
It remains the direct responsibilities of parents of young drivers and seasoned drivers to recognize the significance of distracted driving and consciously decide not to be distracted and to stay mentally focused while operating any motor vehicle, bicycle, and even while walking as a pedestrian.