Local police could use “texter detector” device to catch distracted drivers

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cellphone driving / Shutterstock

A new device in development called a “texter detector” could help Vancouver-area police bust distracted drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel.

The “texter detector” is being tested out by a CATV industry products company, ComSonics, based in the United States. ComSonics says a number of U.S. police forces have expressed interest in testing out the device in their jurisdictions, according to News1130.

The device works by detecting the variations in frequencies emitted from a vehicle when someone is using their cellphone for data, calls, or texting.

Of course, that someone isn’t necessarily the driver, which is why Abbotsford Police Department’s Constable Ian McDonald is intrigued by the “texter detector,” but believes it would still be up to “good old fashioned police work” to nab a distracted driver.

For the Vancouver Police Department, combating distracted driving is a major campaign. The VPD says they have caught all sorts of creative drivers breaking the law behind the wheel, including someone who disguised his cellphone inside a coffee cup. One Vancouverite managed to rack up 26 distracted driving citations between 2010 and 2014.

Distracted driving remains the third leading cause of fatal collisions in British Columbia.

Featured image: Syda Productions / Shutterstock

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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