FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – It’s against the law to text while driving in Massachusetts, and Boston 25 News has found the police officer believed to be the top ticket writer in the state for that category.
Officer Ken Blass works for the Framingham Police Department and has written nearly 500 tickets annually for the past three years.
“I'm not really trying to be the top ticket writer,” he said. “I have friends that drive a motorcycle, I drive a motorcycle, truck drivers, they all tell me it's one of the biggest problems they have.”
You'll often find Officer Blass on his bike on Route 9 in Framingham during the morning rush hour. Boston 25 News went along with Blass for one morning when he spoke with several drivers about distracted driving.
Blass said he sees drivers texting at red lights, texting while their driving, reading texts and holding their phones for navigation, all of which are against the law in Massachusetts.
“You're not allowed to use it in your hand. it's supposed to be attached to your dashboard or your windshield,” he said.
In 2015, Officer Blass was named Traffic Safety Hero of the Year by AAA Northeast for the number of districted driving tickets he's written, and Framingham Police believe he's the top ticket writer in the state for that category.
Blass said for 2017 he is on track to write 500 tickets for distracted driving, more than half of all tickets in that category for the department.
Most of the time, Officer Blass gives out a warning - not a ticket. He says it's not about the money, it's about the message. That message, Chief Kenneth Ferguson said, means a lot coming from the imposing but also compassionate motorcycle officer.
“He's got a good way about him. he's a very assuming person he's 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, but he's able to educate people on safe driving behavior,” Ferguson said.
A father of two, Blass said if keeping yourself safe isn't enough incentive to break the habit think of the kids who could be in other cars.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.