LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles Police Officer Russell Lambert patrols the streets of Lake Charles daily. He says the rules of the road are easily forgotten with so many distractions.
"People aren't paying attention to the road, they are moving forward with a thousand different things on their mind instead of where their mind should be focused, which is right here on the road," said Lambert.
According to Lambert texting behind the wheel is a growing distraction. While patrolling near McNeese State University, it doesn't take long to find an offender.
Officer Lambert: "The reason I stopped you is because I witnessed you were texting."
Driver: "No I was not. I'm calling this I was not texting. No, ticket, no nothing!"
Officer Lambert: "You need to calm down sir."
The driver continued to argue and offer excuses and despite being caught in the act, he was let go with a warning this time.
"When it comes to texting don't do it on the roadways, where you could potentially injure yourself or the people that are riding with you. Or you might injure someone else who is walking across a crosswalk," said Lambert.
The pace is much faster on the Interstate 210. The speed limit is 60, but we clock a driver at 75mph.
Officer Lambert: "The reason I stopped you is because you have a heavy foot."
Driver: "I know, I know. It's a new car."
With a clean record, she too is let go with a warning.
"As soon as I put my lights on she pulled over and bounced out of the car. She admitted she was speeding. And it all goes back to what I was saying earlier. Drivers are not paying attention to the road. In her case she said she was thinking about her income tax return. They need to pay attention to the road because it's going to hurt them. I believe she is going to watch her speed limit and that's why I gave her a warning," said Lambert.
Minutes later we clock another driver doing 76mph.
Officer Lambert: "The reason I stopped you, you were doing 76 in a 60. You in a big hurry for something?"
The offense is too excessive to let her slide. She received a ticket.
Down the road a service van is clocked at 75mph.
Officer Lambert: "How's it going sir, I'm Officer Lambert with Lake Charles Police. Do you have your drivers license with you?"
The driver tries to say his speedometer isn't working quiet right.
Driver: "See I didn't even realize I was going 70... this thing must be way off."
Officer Lambert: "It's off. You were doing 75. 75 in a 60. Yes sir, you were the only vehicle I clocked."
He too is let go with a warning.
Later while on school zone patrol, we were diverted to Nelson Road and New School for a burglary in progress.
"Although this is a hot call burglary in progress, we still have to obey speed limits in school zones - safety of the children is first," explained Lambert.
When we arrived on scene officers had set a perimeter around several blocks. We headed a few blocks south to assist the Calcasieu Sheriff's deputies who were also on scene looking for the suspect who was now on foot.
"He is in a black shirt, black shorts, white male. It's going to be a black New Orleans Saints shirt," said Lambert.
With both agencies assisting each other the perpetrator doesn't have a chance. After walking the nearby woods, the suspect is spotted behind a neighboring brick home and is cornered, then arrested.
Still no word yet on if the suspect was charged.