MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police agencies across Minnesota will be cracking down on distracted driving with a campaign that launches Monday.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said more than 300 agencies across the state will be part of a campaign from April 11-17. It comes after at least three recent incidents involving distracted riving resulted in fatal accidents.
A school bus driver in New Prague was killed while walking to get his morning paper by a woman was driving and allegedly responding to a text.
Authorities say in Sherburne County, a driver was sending Facebook messages when they ran a red light, killing a father and daughter in a crash.
There was also a recent crash in Washington County where a 20-year-old suspected of distracted driving lost control of his vehicle, hit an embankment, went in the air and crashed into another vehicle, killing a 22-year-old woman.
Public safety officials say that according to preliminary numbers, distracted driving was a factor in more than 17,000 crashes last year. It contributed to 74 traffic deaths and 174 serious injuries. During a similar campaign last year, authorities cited 909 drivers for texting while driving, a 65 percent increase from 2014.