Minn. State Patrol teams up with local law enforcement to catch distracted drivers

By KBJR News 1

July 4, 2014 Updated Jul 4, 2014 at 7:08 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Distracted driving continues to be a major problem on our roads throughout the country.

Here in the Northland, the State Patrol is cracking down on the dangerous habit by teaming up with other law enforcement agencies.

During a recent patrol, Lieutenant Jason Hanson of the State Patrol and Deputy Scott Dinehart of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office teamed up to look for distracted drivers.

"It's nice to be able to do this interoperability between the two agencies," said Dinehart.

The pairing allows the patrols to use the local agencies' unmarked SUVs, which are higher off the ground and provide a better vantage point.
It's a resource the State Patrol wouldn't have had access to on their own.

Yeah, we only have a couple of unmarked SUVs in the whole state and really our unmarked fleet is pretty low," said Hanson, "It was actually a lieutenant from the Virginia district who brought it [the idea] up and we all came up with a plan and implemented it."

In addition to Duluth, paired patrols are hitting the roads in Hermantown, Virginia, Brainerd and Thief River Falls.

The State Patrol works with local law enforcement about every three or four months to catch distracted drivers.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.