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

They're cracking down on distracted driving.
Publish date:

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

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.


It could take months to vaccinate MN teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Herb Brooks statue

Trump's planned statue garden would include 2 Minnesotans, others with MN links

But there were some notable names absent from the wide-ranging and eclectic list.

k9 zeke

Petition seeks to allow retired Corcoran officer to keep K9 partner

Corcoran's public safety director says if K9 Zeke is donated to the officer it will be a loss for the department.


Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 18

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Tom Kelly Jr.

Tom Kelly Jr., son of Twins World Series manager, dies at 42

He was a member of the 2001 UST national championship team.

Hennepin County CSI

Police: Man shot in the head by woman in Richfield

It happened in the early hours of Monday.

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas students robbed by suspects in ski masks

Nobody was injured in the early Saturday incident.


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.

Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe to reopen to the public next week

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

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.