Mower stops 78 in distracted driving enforcement

Published 10:27 am Friday, April 24, 2015

Mower County law enforcement stopped 78 drivers during a distracted driving enforcement wave last week.



Austin Police Capt. Dave McKichan said the wave, part of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign, resulted in one DUI arrest and 10 citations for seatbelt violations as well.

In addition, five drivers didn’t have valid driver’s licenses.

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The latest TZD campaign comes as more drivers get distracted by texting or talking on cell phones. Though Minnesota bars people from texting and driving, McKichan said he routinely sees drivers on their phones wherever he goes both on and off duty.

“It’s so incredibly endemic,” he said.

Distracted driver-related crashes resulted in 47 deaths, 7,369 injuries and 16,900 crashes in 2014, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.