Deputies, officers looking for distracted drivers 19 Apr 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Sheriff’s deputies and police officers across Minnesota are making an extra effort Thursday to crack down on distracted drivers.

The statewide campaign is part of distracted driving awareness day. Authorities estimate one in every four traffic accidents in Minnesota is because drivers aren’t fully focused on the road.

Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske says there are plenty of distractions, including children. The proliferation of cell phones has taken distracted driving to a whole new level. It’s illegal to read, compose or send texts or emails while driving. Fines are about $115. Nearly 800 cell phone citations were issued last year.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is working with teen organizations to make sure the message reaches that age group.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)