WINFIELD, W.Va. — The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department takes the state law which forbids driving and using on a cell phone to be extremely important. That’s why deputies aggressively pursued those who were using an electronic device behind the wheel in a recent sting.

During a 10-day period, Putnam County deputies wrote more than four dozen citations for using an electronic device while driving.

“I hope people see this is not something we take lightly. It’s very serious,” said Lt. Ryan Lockhart. “There are any number of hands free devices that can be obtained relatively inexpensive.”

Those cited were observed by a deputy operating the phone or other electronic devices in a manner other than “hands free”.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a cell phone,” said Lockhart. “If you’re going down the road and you’re typing on your Garmin, that’s a violation of this statute.”

Lt. Lockhart said this won’t be there last blitz looking specifically for districted driving and he hopes the message is delivered.

“If there’s a phone call you really have to take,” he said. “Obviously there’s the option of pulling off the road way to answer it.”


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  • wow

    Good job Putnam deputies. In most areas where I drive, and I drive all of wv and about half of pa, the police are driving way to fast to see anyone talking on a phone. I know some of them are on call but not every one I see. It sure would be easier to respect the police if they would also follow the laws.

  • JHT

    Great job Putnam deputies. Other counties should take a lesson.

  • maild

    “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a cell phone,” said Lockhart. “If you’re going down the road and you’re typing on your Garmin, that’s a violation of this statute.”

    §17C-14-15 b 7 B excludes the use of a navigation system from this law.

    §17C-14-15 b 7 C excludes any other use not specifically prohibited in the law

    Of course, the police don't actually have to know the law they are enforcing, do they?

    The question is, Chris, should you be publishing their misinformation as fact?

    When they came out with this un-enforceable law, I wondered how many people would get citations for doing things that weren't against the law. Now, we have a police department that doesn't know it. How many of those 49 people were operating their electronic equipment within the bounds of law? How many were just changing a song on their music player?

    • Say What

      Hey maild, you get a +1 for the posting of the statutes. Well done.

  • ThatGuyOverThere

    Just today I saw a woman texting while driving, smoking a cigarette, with an infant in the car in Bridgeport.

  • Aaron

    It's nice to see that they can put their cell phones down long enough to pull someone over and write a ticket.

  • Just my opinion

    My question is who's enforcing the law when the police are talking on their phones? And the argument "it doesn't imply to them" is total BS. JMO

    • Just my opinion


  • aquarius

    i'm glad to see this law enforced. over the years i've seen it all on interstate when driving...drivers eating their breakfast and using knees to control the steering wheel, makeup being appled...mostly women, shaving with an electric razor mostly men, reading the newspaper and of course talking on the phone. keep it up putnam county..eventually the message will be received.

  • Gary

    That is probably the only place in the state that is enforcing it. Here in Petersburg in Grant County you see people driving all the time with a phone stuck to their ear but when you don't even see any police I guess its hard to enforce the law. If you need to make a call pull safely off the road and make it. My wife and I went to Moorefield and in town there was a policeman driving down the road with a phone stuck to his ear. He should of pulled off the road

  • Larry

    I'm glad they are, because it doesn't seem like anyone else is, I can't count the number of people I see on their phones every day, most of which aren't wearing their seatbelt either. WV has a lot of law breaking idiots.

    • Todd

      Larry why do you care if someone isn't wearing a seatbelt? You must be a proponent of the nanny state.

      • Tom

        When someone is seriously injured and can no longer work or take care of themselves, they often end up as wards of the state at a tremendous cost to the taxpayers. That's why we should care if people are using their seat belts.

        • Todd

          Tom, that is the typical argument that the nanny state pulls out. We already have 350,000 people on medicaid. Would you not consider them wards of the state? Instead of trying to legislate my behavior why don't the politicians figure out how to shrink the number of people who are currently wards of the state because most are just too plain lazy to work.

        • Larry

          That's right, so buckle up Todd!

          • Todd

            Larry, I will buckle up because I choose too not because the politicians and the insurance companies want me too. I am capable of making my own decisions.

  • TeeBird

    Hey Putnam Deputies, Keep Up the Good Work!
    These goons cannot walk and chew gum at the same time more or less drive and text and talk all at the same time!