Updated: 04/09/2014 10:11 PM
Created: 04/09/2014 9:34 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
It's a simple law, but it's one many Minnesotans disobey.
"Whether you're moving or stopped, you can't text," Lt. Jason Hanson, with the State Patrol, said.
Hanson spent Wednesday afternoon cracking down on distracted driving. Eyewitness News was along for the ride where we found three drivers texting while driving in two hours.
"It's a challenging law to enforce," Mark Baker said.
Baker is with Driving 4 Safe Communities. The coalition has a goal of zero deaths on Minnesota roads.
"It's not acceptable," Baker said. "We need to change that culture that people think traffic deaths are an acceptable way of dying."
The group supports the increased enforcement for distracted driving that starts Friday through Easter Sunday.
"They just don't want to take a break and focus on driving," Hanson said.
No matter the reason for texting in the car, it's not worth the ticket. More importantly, Hanson said it's not worth taking a life.
"Typically, your eyes are off the road for at least five to six seconds," Hanson said. "If you're traveling at the speed limit, you're traveling the distance of a football field without even looking where you're going."
Hanson said many drivers are unaware it is illegal to text while at a stop light.
The ramped-up enforcement was only one day in previous years, but Hanson said it's 10 days this year because texting is such a problem. April is distracted driving awareness month.
Tickets are $130.
US Steel to Partially Idle Minntac, Potentially Affecting 700
Three weeks after announcing plans to temporarily idle Keewatin Taconite, U.S. Steel has announced plans to temporarily idle a portion of the Minntac plant in Mountain Iron. The company did not announce exactly how many employees will be affected, but union officials told Eyewitness News they expected about 700 workers to be impacted.
Is It Enough? Parent, Teachers Talk Music in Duluth Schools
Duluth East High School Senior Dan Richards has had a lot of success as a cellist this year, including getting into Berklee College of Music and making it to the final round of a statewide contest. His father, however, has expressed concerns that students today don't have the same resources that his son did.
Duluth Loses Bid to Restore Casino Agreement
A federal court has dismissed the City of Duluth's attempt to reinstate an agreement that had provided the city with millions of dollars annually from the Fond-du-Luth Casino. In an opinion Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld a notice of violation issued in 2011, saying the National Indian Gaming Commission was within its rights to issue the violation.
Duluth Superintendent Finalist for Twin Cities Job
After more than three years on the job, a Twin Cities school district announced Duluth Superintendent Bill Gronseth is one of six finalists for their top job.
Douglas County Residents Gather to Advocate for Child Protection
The Douglas County Council on Child Protection held a gathering on Tuesday as part of "Celebrate Children's Day," to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Government Center Atrium was filled with paper footprints, representing the 1,278 reports that came in last year of abused or neglected children.