Cruiser Control: How troopers veer from driving distractions - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Cruiser Control: How troopers veer from driving distractions

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WARREN, Ohio - Using a device while driving is one of the leading causes of distracted driving and law enforcement officers are always scanning the roads for motorists who may not be fully focused on where they're going.

In order for Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to do their jobs, they're required to utilize multiple devices at any given time.

Troopers from the patrol's Warren Post admit it's a part of the job that takes practice and time.

"There is a lot, we're trained to do that and we're doing that, each of us, for at least eight hours a day, 40 days a week," says trooper with the Warren Post Jason Fantone.

Troopers are asked to not talk on the cell phones while driving. Instead, they must pull over and stop their cars to do so. In order to do their jobs, troopers are given a waiver to type while they drive.

"The texting law exempts law enforcement for the use of like our computers, where we're sending messages or emails or running license plates, which in essence, you're typing," Fantone says.

Youngstown police officers must abide by the same policy.

Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel tells 21 News his department does not have a policy regarding officers and their cell phone use.

Troopers are given annual exams to test how well they perform on their daily tasks, including the usage of devices in their cruisers.

Doing more than one thing at a time is within the scope of their duties, but troopers stress that their main focus should always be on the road.

"It's very easy to get distracted while driving and we're out here to enforce the law and try to prevent distracted drivers, so we need to make sure we're operating our computers in safe situations," says Dan Morrison, trooper with the Warren Post.

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