Minnesota law enforcement agencies cited 550 drivers for texting from April 11 to April 20.
The 10-day event also included:
- 1,394 citations for not wearing seat belts
- 25 citations for not using child restraints
- 417 actions (378 citations and 39 arrests) taken against driving after revocation, driving after suspension, or driving after cancellation
- 15 DWI arrests
“The number of citations made in just those 10 days shows far too many drivers still make poor choices behind the wheel,” said Donna Berger, OTS director. “Law enforcement officers across the state will continue to enforce distracted driving laws. Drivers can and will be ticketed at any time for texting while driving, not just during an enhanced enforcement campaign.”
According to the OTS:
- More than 86,000 crashes were attributed to distracted driving during 2009-13 – 25 percent of all crashes in those five years.
- On average, distracted driving accounts for approximately 60 fatalities and 8,000 injuries annually.
- In 2013, inattention was the contributing factor in 17,598 crashes (23 percent of all crashes), 68 fatalities and 8,038 injuries.
Minnesota’s “No Texting” Law
In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts/emails, as well as access the web on a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic – including at a stoplight/stop sign or stopped in traffic. It also is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cell phone at any time.
Minnesota’s “no texting” law was enacted in August 2008 and citations have increased each year:
- 2009 – 388
- 2010 – 847
- 2011 – 1,270
- 2012 – 1,718
- 2013 – 2,189