Cops with computers in cars/distracting?Dangerous?

Have you ever noticed in some cities that the cops now have computers in their cars and if we “joe public” were using a computer while we were driving do you think we would get a ticket?

I have seen this over and over even on the show “COPS” where cops are using the computers while they are driving ??

Is there a double standard?
Is this safe?
Is this against the law?
Is it a safety issue for the public?
What are the stats of police involved in accidents while they are using those computers? That is if they tell the truth.

I think it’s against common sence and I think they are human too and just like we’re told to pull over to the side of the road to use our cell phones the cops should use their common sence and pull over the side of the road when the must use their computers.

What are your thoughts about this?

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In general, I’d agree; using computers is distracting (althogh some non-cops do use computers while driving: on-star, etc.) Of course, using computers during emergencies is differnt, but I don’t think that’s what you were talking about.

I like the idea of using head-up displays as computer output. Information could be displayed on the windshield at the correct focal distance. That way, the cop could hypothetically read a license plate out loud, and the computer’s voice recognizer could look up the plate number in a DMV database. So, quickly after seeing a car the cop could have its important information displayed above it in transparent text. It would be no more distracting than a billboard.

Not that billboards are never distracting. There’s a luminous one next to a bridge I cross every day to work. I swear one day I’m gonna rear-end somebody watching that thing.

Some of this technology (voice recognition combined with an on-board database) is a little ways in the future, but HUDs have been serving fighter pilots for years. What I want is a complete voice-reco on-line computer. It would have a global positioning system and tons of on-board maps. Then I’d input my destination at the beginning of the trip, and it would listen to automated traffic report and mark the route, by superimposing a “Go this way dummy!” sign with an arrow over each exit, turnoff etc.

My current car doesn’t even have a tapedeck though. sigh

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

i have seen police cars with the screen for the computer under the rear-view mirror as boris b described in his reply

As opposed to the Chicago cop we saw yesterday - sitting in his squad next to Buckingham fountain in Grant Park, watching the Notre Dame game on a small TV set on the front seat. To his credit, he also had a copy of National Geographic handy on the dashboard.

There’s a chinese restaurant in our office park that just started serving breakfast… there wasn’t much business until the State Patrol detachment up the road discovered it. Yesterday there were no less than eight cruisers and three motorcycles in the Mandarin parking lot.

Why so many WSP vehicles? 'Cause cops don’t carpool.

They can’t: the front seat of the cruiser is full of paperwork, computers, and gear. No trooper wants to ride in the back seat !