Westchester County, N.Y., near New York City, is using a “ghost” police car to help officers nab drivers texting or chatting on cellphones, or speeding or driving drunk, says the New York Times. The car is a barely visibly marked police car. It bears all the same decals as a regular police car, but they are white, colorless, like the car itself. The markings really are noticeable only upon close inspection.
Across the U.S., states are stepping up their efforts to curb distracted driving. Lawmakers have proposed more than 200 bills; Kansas is considering a ban on texting while driving, and in Alaska, a bill was proposed to ban all cellphone use behind the wheel. Several states have banned texting, but not talking, behind the wheel. New York is among the states that have banned hand-held cellphone use while driving. Proving that someone is breaking those laws is tougher than writing them. “It's really, really, really difficult to enforce that,” said Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association. The goal of the ghost car is to make enforcement less difficult. The department did not want a fully unmarked car, because motorists can become spooked by what may seem to be a fake police officer pulling them over.