Bakersfield police: Texting while driving is against policy

Bakersfield police: Texting while driving is against policy
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The Bakersfield Police Department laid out its policy regarding officer use of cellphones while behind the wheel, a response to an Eyewitness News viewer complaint.

The Eyewitness News viewer, who asked not to be identified, said he was driving on Merle Haggard Boulevard behind an officer when he noticed the officer looking down at his phone, possibly texting while driving.

”Our policy says that you cannot use a cellular device or electronic device while operating your vehicle,” police Sgt Joe Grubbs responded Monday.

Grubbs couldn't comment specifically on this incident, though he did address the impact such incidents have on the credibility of the department, saying "the public wants to be confident in their law enforcement agency, and we have to set an example for the public."

Under state law, a civilian driver may not text or use a hand-held cellphone at any time while operating a motor vehicle, even at a stop light. Officers are exempt if using the phone in the line of duty.