Becca Carr




Utah Cops Struggle to Enforce Texting and driving law 


While looking for a topic to do my story on I started off with a Google search. I looked at local cities and came across a Salt Lake Tribune article about lawmakers killing a bill on texting and driving that could save lives. I then started to focus on the police and what the double standard was for them using cellular devices. From doing my interviews I moved my story more in the direction that because the law in place for texting and driving is so hard to enforce is it worth even having.

At first, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to connect to the people I needed to interview. I then started to think about people I knew and family connections, using sources that I could reach out to. I then got in contact with Rich Ferguson and Eric Johnson. Rich is Chief of Police while Eric is Detective Sargent. By talking to them I asked if they had anyone I could talk to that was a Highway Patrol Officer. I then called Jeremy Horne who was a Highway Patrolman for 10 years. After I had my main interviews I decided that it would benefit my story by having someone giving their opinion and thoughts about texting and driving, so I took it to campus and found Audrey Emery, a senior at the University of Utah.

I think the sources I got were the best I could have gotten for my story. I found police officers that are high in ranking and also found a specific officer that worked as a highway patrolman. I also think that information that I looked us about specific laws in place and looking up different counties news I found great information that benefited my story.

The main obstacle that I faced was looking for interviews. I didn’t know where to start because I knew I had to talk to people in high-ranking positions. But after I talked to a family member and got my resources together, it was smooth sailing from there.

I got a lot of information about police and the double standard, thoughts on texting and driving, how the law is enforced and so on. These questions gave me a lot of information that I had to narrow down. I narrowed it down to how and why police officers enforce the particular law of texting and driving along with what the solution can be for texting and driving. I decided these as my main focus because this is what most of my interviews focused on and what seemed more important.

The writing process was a little bit difficult to start. I have never written a news article and had never interviewed someone before, so the task was scary. As I started the process I started to become comfortable with talking to people and asking questions. I also had to learn how to narrow down information and make sure what I was writing down was correct and okay to quote.

I think what surprised me most through this whole process and story was that law enforcement doesn’t even enforce the law against texting and driving because it’s so difficult to detect the particular use.


I currently live in Salt Lake City, Utah where I am a Junior at the University of Utah. I am a communications major with my focus in strategic communications. As I continue to pursue my degree in communications – focusing on advertising, branding, marketing, and public relations – I hope to gain on-the-job experience that will help in my career. By doing so, I would ideally get a job with a respectable cosmetic company where I can work with the marketing or public relations team. Although the focus of my major is not journalism, I have found an interest in it and have piece of work that I am excited about.