Drug dealers are not the only ones who need to worry about undercover police as the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today the Minnesota State Patrol has placed five unmarked squad cars into service in the past week to watch for people texting while driving.
Distracted driving has become a major problem on Minnesota roads as “last year alone, inattentive driving was blamed for 61 deaths and more than 7000 injuries”. “Distracted driving – primarily texting and driving – is something the public is harping on us to do something about”, said Col. Matt Langer of the State Patrol.
According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety claims, “Nearly one in four crashes with a death or serious injury was attributed to distracted driving in the past four years.” The number of drivers ticketed for texting while driving has risen from 180 in 2008 to 3,467 so far in 2015.
While it is not illegal to dial the phone or answer a call, it is illegal to surf the web or read, send or compose texts or emails while behind the wheel – even it you are stopped at a stop light! It will cost you $50 for a first offense texting citation. But a subsequent offense will now cost $225 as the legislature raised the fine this year for repeat offenders.
The State Patrol vehicles being used in the crackdown are Ford Tauruses. So if someone pulls up alongside of you, be sure you are not glued to your phone!
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI offense, please call Minneapolis DWI Lawyer F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 today. I will be happy to answer all of your questions.