Focus on road, not your phone

"Texting while driving is risky, and getting caught can be expensive and embarrassing".

Using your cell phone for anything while driving was banned three months ago, and this April, officers throughout the Central Coast will be cracking down on law breakers for Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Whether you have a prevention tip to share or if you've been a victim of a distracted driver, CDOT wants to hear your stories. Beginning Monday, 150 law enforcement agencies across the state will watch closely for distracted drivers. Of the 57,298 distracted driving crashes in Colorado between 2012 and 2015, drivers ages 21 to 30 were involved in 30 percent of crashes. The number of distracted drivers involved crashes in Oklahoma increased from 7,470 in 2014 to 8,012 in 2015, the past year for which statistics are available. The campaign reminds those behind the wheel of a vehicle that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.

"The message is out, and people know that distracted driving is unsafe", said Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating preventable vehicle crashes in the U.S. Every day, more than eight people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes reported to involve distracted driving, which includes activities such as talking on a cell phone, texting and eating, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

OH law bans all electronic wireless communication device usage from drivers under 18 and texting while driving is illegal for all drivers, as a secondary offense.

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In 2014, citings for illegal cell phone use while driving increased 197 percent, says the WTSC. This is a nine percent increase over the previous year in the number of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving.

Be reminded that drivers in CT who are caught texting while driving or using a hand-held cell phone will face a fine of $150 for a first offense with increasing amounts for further offenses.

Talk to family members (especially teen drivers) about the risks of cell phone use.

AAA Oklahoma urges drivers to put the cellphones down not only in April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but all year.

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