Police Crack Down On Texters - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Police Crack Down On Texters

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It's the leading cause of car accidents. Distracted driving is a factor in 80 percent of car accidents. April is National Distracted Driving Month. And the Bismarck Police Department and the Department of Transportation are working together to keep the roads safe.     

The Bismarck Police Department is cracking down on texting while driving.

"We're looking for any activities that would involve the use of a cell phone in sending, receiving or reading a text message," says officer Steven Klabo.

The state's ban on texting while driving will get its first high intensity workout this month. Drivers suspected of breaking the law will be pulled over. And they could be stuck with a $100 fine.

"This operation will involve using unmarked units as spotter vehicles, and there'll also be additional marked units in the area where the operations are underway," says Klabo.

Each three-man team is made up of two drivers and one observer. Observers are passengers in unmarked cars. And when they see someone texting behind-the-wheel, they'll notify an officer in a marked car to make a traffic stop.

"I think it's very important. I was actually rear-ended last year by someone who was texting. So, yeah, I think it's very important," says Pam Overbeck.

"There's people's lives out on the road every single day. And I just don't see how it's any better or worse than any other type of distracted driving, intoxicated while driving or anything like that. Because, you're not focused on the road and you're not able to respond, because you can't see what's going on," says Jackie Lausch.

Officer Klabo says it only takes a few seconds for something bad to happen. And most messages can wait until you arrive safely at your destination.

North Dakota was one of only seven states to receive federal grant funding for texting and driving prevention.

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