By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
California Highway Patrol Capt. Terry Roberts has spent 23 of his 25 years in service at three of the five Kern County CHP offices.
He was recently named commander of the Bakersfield area office of the CHP and is responsible for about 3,000 square miles, including Kernville and parts of the mountainous area leading to Mojave.
Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox," Roberts talked about the continuous effort to decrease fatalities that are caused by texting while driving.
"It's been a law for the past four to five years and it's getting worse," Roberts said.
The epidemic of deaths due to distracted driving is an important issue for Roberts, he said. He plans on setting up special enforcement teams at busy intersections where drivers are known to text and drive.
When high priority collisions happen that may involve a person texting, Roberts said the CHP is starting to take phones to help them with evidence.
And just the other day, Roberts said, he had his own encounter with a person who was texting while driving.
"It was obvious he was texting, he was slowing down, weaving in and out of the lanes so I used the PA to give him a verbal warning to discontinue texting and his passenger told me I was number one with his hand," Roberts said.
Simulcast host Scott Cox said he couldn't belive someone had flipped off Roberts after he gave the driver a warning.
Cox and Roberts agreed that today's generation is different from when they were growing up.
"We quit doing things when someone told us not to do something," Roberts said.
Although driving under the influence is still a problem, Roberts said texting while driving deaths are surpassing DUI fatalities.
"We are trying to combat it as much as we can," Roberts said. "The issue is that everyone texts, not everyone drinks."