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Distracted Driving Crackdown To Start Friday Statewide

Updated: 04/09/2014 10:11 PM
Created: 04/09/2014 9:34 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

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.

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