Distracted driving-related crashes claim an average of 45 lives each year.
To increase awareness and change dangerous behaviors, more than 300 Minnesota law enforcement agencies will begin a three-week extra distracted driving enforcement campaign starting April 8.
The distracted driving campaign, which runs through April 30, is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
Law enforcement will be watching for people texting and driving, but will also be on the lookout for cars swerving in and out of lanes and driving over rumble strips…tell-tale signs that a driver isn’t completely focused on the road.
With Minnesota’s “No Texting” law, it’s illegal for drivers to read or send texts and emails and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. That includes sitting at a stoplight or stop sign.
Texting and driving citations jumped 30 percent from 2017 to 2018 with 9,545 tickets written by law enforcement statewide in 2018, according to Minnesota court records. Since 2012, texting citations increased by 459 percent.
Penalties for texting and driving violation can include: $50 plus court fees for a first offense and $275 plus court fees for a second and/or subsequent offense. If you injure or kill someone because of texting and driving, you can face a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or homicide.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.