ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — While the Florida Legislature considers a statewide ban on texting while driving, the Zephyrhills Police Department already has ordered its officers to keep their thumbs on the steering wheel or pull over.
In fact, the department took it a step further, issuing a new policy this week prohibiting police officers from talking on their cell phones while driving patrol cars. According to the new policy, officers must find a safe place to pull over before using their cell phones.
"It's more of a safety issue," Capt. Jeff McDougal said. "The patrol officers need to be patrolling, and there's a lot to do in the patrol car with the computer and the radio. They don't need to be talking on the phone."
McDougal, who supervises the patrol division, said violating the policy would be grounds for punishment. "We feel pretty confident we'll receive voluntary compliance," he added.
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