Publish date:

Expect to see more cops on the roads the next 2 weeks

They're cracking down on distracted driving.

What's happening?

More than 300 law enforcement agencies are taking part in a statewide crackdown on distracted driving.

The push to catch distracted drivers runs through April 22, with extra enforcement expected on Minnesota roads.

Why are they doing this?

Because distracted driving is extremely dangerous and thanks to the proliferation of smartphones a serious, growing problem in Minnesota.

Here's a look at texting-while-driving citations for the past five years.

  • 2012 — 1,707
  • 2013 — 2,177
  • 2014 — 3,498
  • 2015 — 4,115
  • 2016 — 5,988
  • 2017 — 7,357

And for every citation handed out, there are probably many more drivers getting away with it.

It's deadly

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says that distracted driving contributes to one in every five crashes in Minnesota – and between 2012 and 2016 caused on average 59 deaths and 223 serious injuries a year.

"When a crash occurs in Minnesota, the driver behavior that law enforcement agencies cite most often as a contributing factor is inattention or distraction," it adds.

The annual campaign has usually resulted in a lot of texting and driving citations.

In 2017, of the 7,357 texting and driving citations given out in the state, just over 1,000 over them came in the 2-week crackdown last April.

Drivers are advised to leave their phones untouched or turned off, while having radio stations preset and GPS coordinates inputted before leaving.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Timberwolves smash Rockets in season opener

The Timberwolves showed they have plenty of firepower in a victory over Houston.

Knuth - Nezhad - side by side

Frey challengers Knuth, Nezhad agree to rank each other 2nd

They're urging supporters to do the same on Nov. 2.

Jerome Horton - Sherburne Co. Jail - CROP

Charges: Man lied to buy gun later used by St. Paul mass shooting suspect

He's accused of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

BCA releases investigative file in Winston Smith's shooting death

The file contains 1,000 pages of documents, hundreds of photos and dozens of audio files.


Fire at Mpls. pizza joint weeks after opening, owners suspect arson

The owners arrived at work Tuesday to find the building on fire.

vaccine, covid

New COVID charts show hospitalization, death rates based on vaccine status

The unvaccinated are far more likely than the fully vaccinated to become hospitalized or die.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

White House begins process to ban new mining near BWCAW

The stated goal is to protect the "unique natural wonder" of the BWCAW.

Autumn Merrick, Autumn Rose Merrick

Man charged in shootout, crash that killed 18-year-old on scooter

Autumn Rose Merrick was with a friend near the Holiday gas station.


Remember, drivers, 'slowpoke' and cellphone laws go live this week

Laws will limit cellphone use while driving and crack down on left lane "slowpokes."

Hitting the road in Minnesota? Cops extra watchful for speeders

Extra speed enforcement in Minnesota through July 22.

2017 was the safest year on Minnesota roads since 1943

The state registered one of the lowest road fatality counts on record.

More than 300 people have died on Minnesota roads in 2018

Alcohol, distraction and speeding are among the leading factors.

Be aware of these road, lane closures on Memorial Day weekend

There are no new Twin Cities projects starting this weekend – but plenty are still ongoing.

Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe to reopen to the public next week

The theme park has been shut down since mid-March.