Though dozens of states currently ban motorists from texting while driving an automobiles, law enforcement officials say the legislation prohibiting this practice is often difficult to enforce. In Minnesota, a state where the legislature has passed a texting while driving ban, approximately 1,300 citations were issued to motorists who were engaged in text based messaging with behind the wheel in 2011. This figure seems low when compared to the number of speeding tickets issued last year (more than 200,000) or the number of citations issued while driving under the influence of alcohol (more than 30,000). This number seems especially low in light of recent research results estimating that nearly one in two American adults owns an iPhone or other “smart phone,” and safety experts estimate that handheld electronic communication devices are a factor in approximately one out of every four car accidents. A recent case in which a police officer successfully ticketed a motorists illustrates how difficult the process can be. A St. Paul law enforcement officer driving an unmarked department vehicle approached an intersection blocked by a van with a man behind the wheel who was staring down at his cellphone, unaware of his surroundings. The police officer left the vehicle and slowly approached the van so as not to alert the driver. The officer then saw proof enough to issue a texting a driving citation: The man was checking his Facebook profile while behind the wheel. Under the state’s law, all forms of text based electronic communication, including email and internet browsing, are forbidden while operating a motor vehicle. Had the man been dialing a phone number, he would not have been violating the law.