State Police worked with the Governor's Highway Safety Program to target distracted drivers. Program director Bob Tipton said it's difficult to get accurate numbers on how many people talk on their cellphones or text while driving, because many are reluctant to admit they were using their phone at the time of an accident.
"We know it's a huge problem," Tipton said.
He said he was once hit by a driver who was on a cellphone. "I saw it coming, and I couldn't get out of the way," Tipton said.
Zerkle said most West Virginians will abide by the new cellphone law once they know it's in place. State Police have been trying to tell motorists that the law will become a primary offense starting this summer.
Kanawha County officials have already banned the use of cellphones by county employees while driving. And while the new law has exemptions for law enforcement officers, Baylous said West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers is strongly discouraging state troopers from using cellphones in their cars unless absolutely necessary.
"We'll be setting the example," Baylous said.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.