The Governor's Highway Safety Association analyzed a decade of crashes and released their findings in April. It concluded that drivers using hands-free headsets spent longer trying to make a call, and had more dialing errors.
The same study found that talking and texting, even hands-free, made the risk of crashing nearly four times greater.
"Our preference is that people wouldn't talk on the phone at all," Rutherford said.
Every sheriff's cruiser has been installed with a Bluetooth device, he said.
Cpl. Brian Humphreys said the distracted driving statistics speak for themselves.
In 2011, 3,331 people were killed nationwide in distracted driving-related crashes, while more than 380,000 were injured.
The Legislature passed Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's distracted-driving bill last year, making West Virginia the 36th state to ban texting while driving.
Kanawha Assessor Sallie Robinson said she was inspired to try out Tuesday's course because, while she was campaigning earlier this year, she saw dozens of distracted drivers from the roadside.
"I would say none of these people can see us because they're too busy looking at their phones," Robinson said.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.