More than 900 Minnesotans cited in campaign against distracted driving
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Law enforcement officers cited more than 900 drivers in Minnesota's latest distracted driving enforcement campaign.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released the results of the six-day campaign on Friday. More than 300 law enforcement agencies, including the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and the Rochester Police Department, participated in the operation.
Officers across the state cited 909 drivers for texting and driving from April 13 to 18. That compares to 550 drivers cited over a 10-day period last April.
The State Patrol documented some of this year's most alarming examples of distracting driving on social media:
According to Minnesota law, "no person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic."
There are some exceptions, like using the device to make a phone call or report a traffic incident. However, anyone under the age of 18 is barred from using a cell phone at any time.
The "no texting" law was first introduced in August 2008 and citations have increased every year since. Gov. Mark Dayton recently introduced a proposal to double the current $50 fine for repeat offenders.
Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.