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Ask the Times: Texting and driving is hard charge to mark
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Question: Does local law enforcement actually enforce that ban on texting while driving?

Gaines­­ville Police Deputy Chief Jay Parrish said that since the law outlawing texting and driving went into effect, 149 total citations have been written by Gainesville Police.

“It’s just a difficult charge to mark,” Parrish said. “They don’t pick up their phone when a marked car is next to them.”

In that time period, texting has been cited as the cause of a wreck 22 times, while 237 wrecks have been caused by “distracted driving.”

Parrish said cellphone use wasn’t always listed as a possible cause to be checked on accident reports during that time, and it’s possible some of the distracted driving wrecks were caused by texting and driving.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes said that office has written 108 texting and driving citations from January 2013 through Sept. 18.

Bailes also said that out of 6,737 wrecks in Hall County in 2014, 286 had contributing factors listed as “distracted,” “inattentive” or “cellphone”-related.

“This is not to say that texting didn’t cause more, but not everyone admitted to it,” Bailes wrote in an email.

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