Another huge jump in texting-while-driving tickets in Minnesota

Citations spike 30% from 2017 to 2018; now up 459% since 2012

Adam Carter
January 23, 2019 - 5:00 pm

More evidence that texting while driving is a growing problem in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says texting-while-driving tickets jumped 30% in 2018 from the year before, continuing a steep climb in the violation over the last several years.  

"We're addicted to (phones), and as a result, we have an epidemic on our roads.  It's killing far too many people," said Mike Hanson, Director of the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety.

He says already in 2019, there have been two deaths associated with distracted driving.  One of those crashes involved the use of a cell phone.
Hanson says Minnesotans aren't yet getting the message to put the phone away.

"It's not the time to catch up on your voicemails, it's not the time to catch up on your emails, or anything else that's going on on that electronic device.  It's a time to concentrate on the road."

Hanson says the higher number of tickets is also indicative that officers and troopers are getting better at spotting texters.

RELATED: Emotional testimony helps hands-free bill driving bill clear it's first hurdle

Lawmakers in St. Paul are again considering a bill to require drivers to use hands-free devices, something the department of public safety endorses.  

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