Distracted Driving Habits, What the State Patrol is Looking For

By KBJR News 1

Distracted Driving Habits, What the State Patrol is Looking For

April 17, 2012 Updated Apr 17, 2012 at 9:49 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Starting this week, the Minnesota State Patrol will ramp-up efforts to curb distracted driving.

The state patrol, along with 400 other city and county law enforcement agencies, will start watching for drivers who are texting, eating, applying makeup or anything that might take a driver's mind off operating a vehicle.

In Minnesota it's illegal to read or write texts, or go online while driving.

Those under 18 can't use a cell phone at all while behind the wheel.

Some of the other behaviors aren't legislated against but do fall under the umbrella of distracted driving.

"As texting becomes more and more popular, that's kind of the biggest thing we see an increase in. It's so easy to pick-up that phone and send that text but in reality is it is just not that important. When you're traveling even at 55 miles an hour, you're traveling at about a football field in four seconds," said Lt. Quint Stainbrook of the State Patrol.

Statistics show distracted driving is a factor in 25 percent of vehicle crashes in Minnesota, causing 208 deaths and nearly 26,000 injuries in the past three years.

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