If you’re headed to the National Championship game tonight or you’re just planning on doing a lot of driving in Minnesota over the next few weeks, be sure that you put the distractions away and keep your eyes on the road, because police will be out in full force looking for distracted drivers.
Distracted drivers accounts for more than 50 traffic deaths a year in Minnesota, but the real number is likely higher because of how hard it is to prove what drivers were doing behind the wheel at the moment of the accident. All it takes is a second or two or not paying attention to the road for tragedy to strike. That’s why police are cracking down on distracted driving during their annual campaign which runs from today, April 8 through April 30.
“We do take distracted driving very very seriously,” said Kenyon Police Chief Lee Sjolander. “Our big goal is to educate the public. Not everyone is going to get a citation, but everyone should be well aware by now that this is a serious problem and needs to be handled.”
Distracted Driving Ticket in Minnesota
Despite what Police Chief Sjolander said, don’t expect to be one of the lucky ones who is let off with a warning. The fact that police are announcing their presence on traffic signs and news releases will likely serves as enough of a warning for most officers, so they’ll be looking to hand out citations to any driver they see not paying attention to the road.
Although the citation for distracted driving is only $50, that amount can grow as court costs and other fees are added on. Not to mention the fact that if your car insurance provider gets wind of your ticket, your rates will probably go up, which can cost you hundreds of more dollars over the course of the year. A second citation for texting while driving will run you $225, but again there are additional costs that will make that ticket an even bigger pain on your pocketbook.
Texting or looking at your cell phone gets most of the attention when it comes to distracted driving, but it’s certainly not the only way you can earn a ticket. Other forms of distracted driving include:
- Taking your eyes off the road to adjust the radio or change the song on your iPhone.
- Typing in addresses to a GPS.
- Eating and drinking such that it inhibits your ability to drive safely.
- Turning around to look at or to talk to your children.
- Putting on makeup behind the wheel.
- Reading while driving
So make it a point to drive safely these next three weeks and begin forming good driving habits that will stick with you long after the crackdown has ended. And if you or someone you know wants to contest a distracted driving or other traffic violation in court, set up a free case review with Avery Appelman and his team at Appelman Law Firm to see what he can do for you. For more information, contact his office today at (952) 224-2277.