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Prairie Village police to begin enforcing Kansas texting ban Jan. 1
The statewide ban on texting while driving passed by the Kansas legislature goes into effect Saturday, and local law enforcement agencies are set to enforce it.
Prairie Village police captain Tim Schwartzkopf said the state hasn’t provided agencies with specific instructions for enforcing the law, but officers will be on the lookout for people clearly using their cell phone’s text functions. The law stipulates that people are allowed to use their phones to look up phone numbers and make calls, but bans sending and actively reading received text messages.
“This is a law that is going to require for officers to use their discretion and make a judgment, and it’s going to require some observation,” he said. “But it’s pretty clear when someone’s just getting ready to make a call, and when they’re actively texting.”
The law is simply a matter of trying to ensure the roads stay safe for everyone, he said. Studies have shown that people who text while driving are as likely to cause accidents as those who are driving under the influence of alcohol.
“There’s nothing so important you can’t wait to send a text message about it until you’ve stopped driving,” Schwartzkopf said. “Better to get where you’re going safely.”
People caught violating the new law are subject to a $60 ticket, plus court fees averaging $80 to $100.
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