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972 MN drivers got texting citations over the course of a week

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has released the results of its distracted driving campaign.

More than 300 agencies across the state participated in extra enforcement of anti-texting laws from April 11-17.

Police officers, sheriff deputies, and state patrol troopers handed out 972 citations to drivers for texting while driving during that time, the release says.

https://twitter.com/MnDPS_MSP/status/725402935212052480

Authorities also gave out 1,563 seatbelt tickets.

The Minnesota State Patrol in the East Metro gave out the most citations: 79 for texting, plus 170 seatbelt tickets.

The list of citations by agency can be found here.

The number is slightly higher than last year's campaign, which yielded 909 texting citations.

Stories from distracted drivers

Officials shared stories of some of the offenses on social media:

https://twitter.com/MnDPS_MSP/status/720962480055402496

https://twitter.com/MnDPS_MSP/status/720727837691551744

https://twitter.com/MnDPS_MSP/status/719999814730137602

https://twitter.com/MnDPS_OTS/status/721049268866441216

https://twitter.com/MnDPS_OTS/status/720431435178516481

Minnesota's "No Texting" Law

It is illegal for Minnesota drivers to read, write, or send texts and emails, and go online – even if you are stopped at a traffic light.

A first time offense will cost you $50, plus court fees, the Department of Public Safety says.

A second or subsequent violation is $225, according to MN Statutes.

A big contributor to crashes

According to the State Patrol, distracted driving contributed to 174 serious injuries and 74 deaths in 2015.

From 2011-2015, 326 people died and 1,076 people suffered life-changing injuries in distracted driving-related crashes, the State Patrol says.

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