1,000 Tickets Issued During Texting While Driving Crackdown
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Over 1,000 motorists were ticketed during a recent statewide crackdown on distracted driving. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety today reported the State Patrol and officers with several hundred local law enforcement agencies issued 1,017 citations for texting while driving and over 1,500 tickets for seat belt law violations during the two-week enhanced enforcement campaign that ended on April 23rd.
Locally, the Rochester Police Department issued 16 tickets for distracted driving and 8 for seat belt violations, while the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department reported 7 citations for texting while driving and 5 tickets for failing to buckle up. State Troopers assigned to the State Patrol District Headquarters in Rochester cited 16 motorists for distracted driving and 96 for motorists for not using seat belts.
“The numbers during our two-week campaign show some people are getting the message, especially when looking at the numbers from the previous year,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “However, one person distracted on the road is one too many. Just one person taking their eyes off the road can change their lives and the lives of others forever. Now is the time to make a commitment to put the phones down and the distractions away when behind the wheel.”
A similar crackdown a year ago resulted in 972 citations for texting and driving, while the overall number of tickets for the violation last year was close to 6,000. That’s up over 250-percent when compared to 2012, when about 1,700 motorists were cited.
State crash statistics for last year are still being analyzed, but in 2015 distracted driving was listed as a contributing factor in traffic crashes that resulted in 74 deaths and over 7,600 injuries.