State Police continue campaign against distracted driving

Tickets range from $100 to $500

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Police are doubling their efforts to enforce laws against texting and driving. In Massachusetts, it’s illegal for anyone to send or receive messages when behind the wheel.

State Police stress this is not an effort to generate revenue; this is strictly to try and save lives.

One driver, Kurt Morris, told 22News he see’s people texting and driving all the time. “It’s scarier now than it’s ever been before. They need to crack down, hire the people to do the job, and the tickets will pay for themselves.”

Sunita Patel says she sees it all the time and she fears for that driver’s safety, and her own. “I actually have an hour commute to work everyday, there and back, so I see a lot of that going on especially in the left lane too. It’s crazy. It’s so dangerous.”

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, in 2012, more than 33-hundred people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving. More than 420-thousand people were injured.

This State Police campaign is going to run until June 28th and both marked and unmarked police cars will be pulling drivers over for texting and driving with a zero tolerance policy. Tickets range from $100 to $500.

During that time, police are going to be testing different enforcement strategies and their effectiveness for the future.

For more information on texting while driving and its prevention, including the demonstration grant to Massachusetts, visit www.distraction.gov.

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