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Easing Distracted Driving by Police in Fort Wayne

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2015
4 pages
This article describes how the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Police Department (FWPD) has used technology that limits in-car computer use, thus reducing the risks posed by officers' distracted driving.

The technology, called Archangel II, disables the computer keyboard, track pad, and touch screen on an in-car computer when the vehicle reaches 15 miles per hour; however, the call screen remains visible and active so officers can still see new commands that appear on the screen, as well as their routes. The installation of this technology in FWPD's cruisers began in 2012 and continued until all 380 cruisers with in-car computers were equipped with this technology. The younger officers, who are more adept with computers and multi-tasking, tend to dislike the restrictions imposed by the technology, but the technology has apparently had its intended effect; cruiser-related accidents have declined significantly. In 2013, there were only two or three distraction-related cruiser accidents, according to the deputy chief who was interviewed for this article. He reports that the technology has proven its usefulness and will remain in the cruisers. When officers need to use their computers, they must pull over and park in a safe place. Approximately a dozen law enforcement agencies have contacted the FWPD for information on this technology.

Date Published: January 1, 2015