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Texting and driving? You may have been photographed by St. George police

Published December 20, 2013 8:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If you are texting, doing your makeup or shaving while driving the streets of St. George, you may not notice the police officer standing on the sidewalk taking pictures.

But the officer noticed you. In fact, you are likely the photograph's subject.

In support of their "Heads up, thumbs up" campaign to stop distracted driving, St. George police officers are hitting the streets and taking photos of people who are driving distracted. If a violation is observed, the photographer provides a vehicle description to other officers, who then can pull over the distracted driver.

But where do those photos end up?

The St. George Police Department's Facebook page.

As of Wednesday, the police department has posted nine photos of distracted drivers — their identities withheld and their faces covered with the "Heads up, thumbs up" logo — with information about distracted driving or the driver's alleged violation. In one photo, police wrote that the driver traveling on 600 North Bluff Street used their phone for four to six seconds while driving 35 mph, which equates to approximately 210 feet the driver traveled while distracted by their phone.

Police say their main focus is to educate the public about the hazard of distracted driving and the laws that relate to the use of electronic devices. State law now prohibits drivers to do anything on a hand-held wireless communication device except make or receive phone calls or use GPS navigation. That means a driver may not use a cellphone to send data, read a text, use an app or view an image.

St. George police are encouraging people to visit the "Heads up, thumbs up" website, where users can learn more about distracted driving and take a pledge to drive safe.

—Jessica Miller