Cracking down on texting and driving

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 10.31.15 AMThe Minnesota Department of Public Safety said that most accidents are caused by drivers being distracted, and using a phone is the most common way to be distracted while driving.

While it’s legal for most drivers to talk on the phone while driving (for example, drivers with a provisional license are barred from talking while driving), texting and driving, along with tweeting, instagramming, facebooking, and snapchatting, are illegal even at a stop light. Just in Minnesota last year, more than 3,200 citations were given for texting and driving. Of those citations, 70 result in accidents, and 350 serious injuries.

On August 1, a new law was put into place that raises the fine of texting and driving from $50 to $275. Law enforcement has also increased to try and control the number of fatal accidents. Brad Norland, a Minnesota State Patrol Officer, thinks that law enforcement alone won’t fix this problem, however, and that soon every generation will use phones.

Already, there is a downward trend in serious car accidents due to distracted driving because of the new laws put into place, but the problem isn’t solved yet. The Minnesotans for Safe Driving organization is encouraging drivers to break their addiction to phones, and to have another person in the car take control of their calls, texts, and anything else that would take their eyes off the road for even a second.