With the recent passage of the hands-free driving law, Minnesotans are starting to recognize that the cell phone is a driving distraction, according to Katy Kressin, West Central Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Regional Coordinator. Kressin told the KMRS Community Connection program that the change is gradual, but noticeable.
“We’re hoping that everybody is putting their cell phone down and using the one-touch option or using a Bluetooth device,” said Kressin. “We are seeing that people are still not doing that, and law enforcement is able to give them a warning or educate them and give them a ticket, if needed. We have heard from many people that it’s helped them. They are more cautious about it. They don’t do it and they used to. And so I think it is starting to change behaviors.”
Drivers have other distractions to contend with as well, Kressin noted, including other passengers, eating or drinking, or fiddling with the radio. But being aware that these are distractions can help. As part of the Click It or Ticket campaign, there will be extra law enforcement on the roads throughout the state monitoring seat belt usage until the end of this month.