Forget Texting While Driving; Some L.A. Motorcycle Cops Get Laptops | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Above the Law

Forget Texting While Driving; Some L.A. Motorcycle Cops Get Laptops

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Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:04 AM

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We love the double standards when it comes to law enforcement in L.A.

Cops these days can get you for texting while driving (and L.A.'s Superior Court referees often back them no matter what) even though the law makes the infraction almost impossible to prove: " ..Selecting or entering a phone number" is legal, says the DMV. That sounds like a difficult case, but cops, who talk on phones and radios all day long while they blow through stop signs, will write you up anyway.

Well, now that you're pissed off, consider the latest initiative at the L.A. Sheriff's Department:

Motorcycle officers will now come equipped with ... full-on laptops. Yep, right in front of them.

The department hailed the technological advance in a statement this week, noting that with the computers ...

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... provide a new level of public safety and efficiency capabilities has begun.

Yep. Just what you wanted for your public safety. A badge on two wheels googling your license plate.

Well, to be fair, there's no indication that these guys will be web surfing on the highway. At least we hope not. But note that state code exempts law enforcement from the texting-while-driving rules.

The L.A. Sheriff's Department says the move is a time and money saver because it will keep cops in the field instead of sending them to a desk to do paperwork. And, yes, they can check your plate and record from the convenience of a keyboard now.

Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker:

Deputies can now remain on patrol in the community more hours each day. In the past, motorcycle deputies had to return to the station to write reports and review new wanted posters and other important information. Now they can stay closer to where the public and their patrol partners need them most.

Somehow we don't feel much safer.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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