Cell Phone Ban Challenge
POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 3:59pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 5:50pm
El Paso - When Daniel Quintana was a rookie cop, he never would have handled a traffic stop like this.
In the 20 years he has been patrolling the streets of El Paso, Quintana has seen the technology go from a basic radio to having internet access at his fingertips.
"We've had to adapt to that as they've been adding more and more to vehicle."
Within seconds, he can check a car or driver's information, radio for help or get criticial details on his way to a call.
He says technology helps keep officers safe and makes them more efficient in the field.
But law enforcement vehicles are becoming increasingly wired.
Lawmakers are urging drivers to cut back.
El Paso is just the latest city to ban cell phones behind the wheel.
Some people feel it is a dangerous double standard...
"We do have a lot of distractions in the vehicle."
But police are not the only ones taking heat.
We took a ride with El Paso Fire Department Station 19 to find out what devices and possible distractions they are riding with. Just like police, they say technology is crucial...
"It assists us greatly in doing our jobs better."
But that is about the only similarity we found. Lt. Frank Perry says fire engines and ambulances have more manpower so the driver is allowed to focus on the road.
In most cases, police fly solo and the technology can save lives. Even so, they are told to try to wait for a red light or pull over is possible...
"Basic responsibility lies with us as drivers to limit our use of it."