Texas Highway Patrolman Tells Fellow Responders: We're Distracted Drivers Too.

The Enforcement Expo wraps up its three-day stay at the Dallas Convention Center today, which means: There's goes the Fear and Loathing coverage I'd planned for months. But that's not important. What is? Yesterday's presentation by a 21-year vet of the Texas Highway Patrol, during which the great Dub Gillum explained to his fellow emergency responders that, sure, distracted driving's a bad thing. Only, he wasn't just talking about cell-phone-chatterers and civilian texters out on the open road.

Let's go to's extensive wrap-up of Dub's provocative presentation:
When it comes to police cruisers, there are more distractions than ever before inside. "Cruisers today are like the Knight Rider car, KITT," Gillum said, recollecting a 1980s television show featuring a high-tech talking car used by David Hasselhoff for crime fighting.

"Gadgets in emergency vehicles are now seen as a peril," Gillum said, noting that some might dispute that, saying the technology is useful in police work and emergency responses for ambulances and fire apparatus. Gillum, however, is of the mind that computers in the cruiser are at least as dangerous.

"What are we doing typing on the computer in the cruiser?" Gillum said. "I'm a police officer, not a police communications officer. We pay good money for those people. We need to keep focused on what we do, not typing on a computer."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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