Distracted driving is a challenging thing for law enforcement to deal with, particularly in states where texting while driving is banned but cell phone use is not altogether banned. Massachusetts is among the states that face this challenge. The state has banned all cell phone use for bus drivers and novice drivers, but only texting is banned for all drivers. That means that most drivers are able to still use their cell phones for voice communication.

The problem is that, although many states allow officers to ticket drivers for texting while driving, it isn’t always clear whether a driver is texting or simply using the cell phone for voice communication. In such circumstances, officers often opt not to enforce the law rather than go through guesswork regarding driver behavior. 

Interestingly, new technology currently being developed by a Virginia company would allow police officers to catch drivers in the act of texting and other cell phone use. The technology works by allowing the user of the device to detect frequencies that emit from a vehicle when an individual is inside using a cellphone. It isn’t clear, though, whether the technology is able to distinguish between texting and other cell phone use. If so, police officers in Massachusetts and elsewhere would be a step closer to more efficient enforcement of state law.

Those who have been harmed in a car accident caused by a distracted driver have the right to recovery appropriate compensation from responsible parties. Pursuing distracted drivers for damages is not always an easy task, though, and it is important to work with an experienced advocate to ensure one builds a strong case.


Space Coast Daily, “Radar Gun-Like Device Will Catch Texting Drivers,” Dave Forster, September 18, 2014.

Distraction.gov, “State Laws,” Accessed September 18, 2014.