Drivers texting forces US police to take creative measures

  • 04/10/2016

Texting and driving is a growing problem around the world, and in the United States, police are going to creative measures to stop it.

In Tennessee, police are riding shotgun in high-seated trucks so they can see down into cars beside them on the highway. They then call a police car to pull over offending drivers that they spot.

In order to avoid being seen texting and driving, many people hold their phones low, but in the time it takes a driver to look down and send a text a vehicle could travel the distance of a football field, police say.

It's a growing concern in the United States, where fatal crashes from distracted driving jumped nearly 9 percent from 2014 to 2015. 

Police officers in San Bernadino, California have posed as homeless people with signs on the side of the road, except their signs are warnings to texting drivers. Ironically, texting drivers don't see, and are soon pulled over by motorbike patrol officers.

In West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, police are getting on bicycles to deal with the problem, after seeing a 360 rise in rear end crashes.

The US National Safety Council estimates cell phones accounted for roughly 1.6 million crashes in 2015, which is roughly a quarter of all crashes reported.

The council says because drivers are reluctant to admit they were using their cell phone during an accident, there is a huge gap in the data on distracted driving.

CBS / Newshub.