The State Patrol and local police agencies plan a crackdown on distracted drivers, starting Thursday.
They’ll be looking for texting drivers, and also those applying makeup, eating, reading the paper and smartphones, and they’ll probably try to find that guy we read about a few years ago who plays the trumpet on the way to work.
They say texting in the state is illegal not only while driving, but also while stopped at red lights or stop signs. And drivers under 18 can’t talk on a cell phone while driving, either.
A statement from Donna Berger, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety, said:
“While driving may seem like a routine activity for many of us, the road environment changes constantly and demands focus at all times. We can’t use our daily commutes to conduct other business while behind the wheel.”
The state says distracted driving contributes to about one-quarter of vehicle crashes annually in Minnesota and, over the past three years, resulted in 208 deaths and nearly 26,000 injuries.