Midland Police on the Lookout for Texting and Driving

Midland Police on the Lookout for Texting and Driving

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - It's been one month since a texting and driving ban was put in place for the city of Midland. Since then, officers have caught many drivers in the act.

NewsWest 9 rode along with police on Monday to find out what they are on the lookout for. It didn't take long for us to catch a driver looking down at his phone. NewsWest 9 learned what exactly officers are keeping their eyes peeled for.

"People with their heads down. Looking down at their lap. Usually where their phone is, trying to hide their phone from us," said Officer Logan Ellinger with the Midland Police Department.

During the first month that the texting and driving ban was in effect, officers were lenient making sure that drivers knew about the ordinance. Now, that window has closed.

"The first lady that I stopped, she was using her GPS," said Ellinger.

Making phone calls and using your GPS is still allowed. Sending, receiving or typing a message could land you a $500 fine. That's not all, also the use of any apps could get you busted.

"The other two people I saw them using their cameras. They were taking pictures or videos of an accident scene as they were driving by. They both admitted to it and they knew that they were in the wrong," said Ellinger.

So far, seven citations have been issued. A small number but Midland police say texting and driving is a problem on our West Texas roads.

"Right now, it is. A lot of people are texting and looking at their phones and doing whatever. They look up and next thing they know their car is in the back of another car because they weren't paying attention," said Ellinger.

Midland has now joined dozens of other Texas cities by enacting the texting and driving ban.

"It's good. I think it will reduce our accidents. I hope it won't take more than a few months for everybody to get the idea," said Ellinger.

The Midland police officer NewsWest 9 rode along with says most drivers are compliant and most even admit they were texting. The texting and driving ban is now in full effect for the city of Midland. With one month in, it might not be a risk you want to take.