Police are on the lookout for distracted driving throughout the month of April. Here's what's considered distracted driving, and how much you will pay for that offense.

Bottom line when you're behind the wheel: Keep your eyes on the road, where they belong.

The police call this mission "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." But it's not just texting that will get you in trouble. Since April is National Distracted Driving Month, you better watch out, because there will be lost of extra law enforcement on our roadways.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED DISTRACTED DRIVING? Well, it's not just texting or talking on the phone. Any of the following are considered distracted driving:

-- Drinking and eating

-- Talking to passengers

-- Doing your makeup, shaving, or any other personal grooming done behind the wheel

-- Using a navigation system (What????!!!)

-- Reading maps (or other things that you might take your eyes off the road to read)

-- Watching a video (duh!)

-- And even adjusting a radio, or any control on your dashboard, steering wheel, etc.

Having said that, texting is considered the worst offender, because it requires the driver's visual, manual, and cognitive attention.


For talking or texting on a handheld device, the fines have gone up. You can now expect to pay a minimum of $200 for a first-offense, at least $400 for a second offense, and at least $600 for a third offense PLUS a possible 90-day license suspension!

Our state is among only four nationwide to receive a dedicated federal grant to combat distracted driving. Why? Well, because of the numbers:

According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety administration, the latest data shows 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving crashes within a year, and an estimated 391,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

But those figures are even worse in our state, where over half of all crashed in one year involved driver inattention. That's a rate NINE TIMES HIGHER than the next-highest contributing crash factor, which was speeding!


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