Citations ballooned during Minnesota's latest texting and driving crackdown

One motorist drove with his knees while texting with both hands...
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From a 65-year-old woman shopping on Amazon during a snowstorm, to a 52-year-old man inexplicably playing Pokemon Go, a two-week crackdown on texting-drivers yielded some worrying results.

Between Apr. 9-22, police across the state issued a massive 1,576 citations for texting and driving, an increase of more than 50 percent compared to the 1,017 during 2017's campaign.

The findings of the Minnesota DPS initiative are all the more troubling considering that several days of this year's saw fewer cars on the road, owing to the giant snowstorm we had in mid-April.

Some of the worst offenders include the Amazon shopper from Kasson mentioned above, with other bad drivers including a 42-year-old man in St. Paul who was caught playing poker on his phone while at the wheel.


– Hey Minnesota, stop texting while driving.

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Over the course of the two weeks, the most offenders were found in St. Paul, with local police issuing 171 citations for texting and driving.

Next up in the metro was Blaine with 101, followed by state troopers in Oakdale (80) and Golden Valley (52), and the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office (46).

Outside the Twin Cities, state troopers handed out 84 in Virginia, 74 in Duluth, and 43 in Marshall, while the Olmstead County Sheriff dished out 49 and Moorhead Police 41.

In 2017, texting citations climbed from 5,988 the year before to 7,357, with police noting that distracted driving contributes to one in five crashes in Minnesota and causes on average 59 deaths and 223 serious injuries a year.

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