Is texting while driving ban really working?

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Texting while driving has been against the law in Idaho for a year now. But police say they're still having trouble enforcing the ban.

Boise Police Department has given out less than 30 citations for texting while driving in the past year.

"It's one of those laws that's very difficult to enforce because it's very difficult to detect," said Motor Sergeant Kyle Christensen, an officer with BPD.

He says it's hard to tell whether someone is texting, which is illegal, or just dialing a phone number, which is not illegal. And if someone says they were just dialing a number, he says police usually give that person the benefit of the doubt.

"Fairness is very important to us," he said, "So if the officer's uncertain about the violation, and he questions the violator, asking them what they were doing and they say, 'I was just dialing a telephone number,' well then wer'e going to trust that person's telling us the truth, and we're going to give the benefit to the violator."

But Christensen says people should focus less on just trying not to get a ticket, and more on the fact that texting while driving is dangerous.

"Ther'es a lot of accidents caused by texting and driving, although people are slow to admit that," he said.

He says police will keep pulling people over when they think someone may be texting, because anyone they stop could be a potential life saved.

"What we want people to do is we want them to be safe driving their vehicle down the roadway," he said, "It's all safety is what it is...and the more distractions we have in and around the vehicle, the more difficult it is for people to focus on what their main objective should be, which is driving the vehicle and keeping themselves and those around them safe."