May 3, 2018 | By: Sarah Winkelmann

Distracted Driving Campaign Results: Texting Citations Climb For Fourth Straight Year

The results are in for the 2018 Minnesota Distracted Driving Campaign as law enforcement found many drivers still being distracted behind the wheel.

More than 300 law enforcement agencies participated during the extra enforcement campaign in Minnesota from April 9-22. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) coordinated the statewide effort.

During that time, officers, deputies and troopers cited 1,576 motorists for texting and driving during the campaign, which included extra enforcement, compared with 1,017 cited during last year’s campaign. There were also 1,883 seat belt citations, compared with 1,517 in 2017.

Law enforcement officers shared stories about drivers doing a wide range of things such as: shopping on Amazon, texting, buying plane tickets, playing Pokemon Go and putting on makeup, all while driving a vehicle.

During the campaign, Baxter Police issued 6 texting citations and 15 seat belt citations, Bemidji Police issued 5 texting citations, Brainerd Police issued 1 texting citation and 5 seat belt citations, Crow Wing County Sheriff Office’s issued 1 texting citations and 17 seat belt citations and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office issued 1 seat belt citation.

Minnesota’s “No Texting” law makes it illegal for drivers to read, 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. Penalties include:

  • $50 plus court fees for a first offense.
  • $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.

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