Enough is enough. That is the theme for this year’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is a factor in 1 of 4 crashes each year in Minnesota. From 2012 – 2016, distracted driving contributed to an average of 59 deaths and 233 serious injuries per year on Minnesota roads.
Last September, Wayzata Police Officer Bill Mathews was struck and killed by a distracted driver while he was patrolling on Hwy. 12. In honor of Officer Mathews, and in order to bring attention to the serious problem of distracted driving, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Towards Zero Deaths campaign has organized officers from law enforcement agencies across the state, including Eden Prairie, to look for distracted drivers on Hwy. 12 from Minneapolis west all the way to South Dakota on Tuesday, April 17.
Under Minnesota’s “No Texting” law, it is illegal for drivers to read, send texts and emails and access the internet while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. This includes when you are sitting at a stoplight, stopsign or in traffic. A first offense costs $50 plus court fees. Second and subsequent offenses are $275 plus court fees. If you injure or kill someone because of texting and driving, you can face a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or homicide.