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February 08, 2013
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Texas police use device to prevent typing and driving

Keyboards will lock when the vehicle exceeds 15 mph to prevent accidents caused by distracted driving

By PoliceOne Staff

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas — Farmers Branch will be the first department in Texas to use a new device that will prevent officers from typing on their dashboard laptops once their vehicle exceeds 15 mph.

Every squad in the department will be outfitted with an Archangel II, which will lock the keyboard at 15 mph, according to NBC 5.

“There won't be an officer driving a Farmers Branch police car going 50 miles an hour driving down the road typing on the keyboard,” said Deputy Chief Mark Young.

The change comes after a few incidents of minor crashes where officers hit curbs or blew out tires because they was distracted using their mobile devices, despite a written policy prohibiting that.

“It takes away the wanting to type. It keeps us honest,” said Farmers Branch Cpl. Terry Eoff.  “It keeps us from doing it.”

When an officer drives above 15 mph, a box on the screen turns red and the keyboard is disabled. 

Officers will still get important information they need.  The screen continues to show urgent updates from dispatchers and officers can still see the GPS screen to help direct them to an emergency, according to the article. 



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