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Police Crack Down on Texting & Driving

EUGENE, Ore. — Law enforcement across Oregon plans a crack down on texting while driving this February. Police say the problem is deadly and they’re making it a top priority.

Just about everyone sends text messages these days; with the extra texting, there comes a dangerous problem for drivers everywhere.

“Texting while driving can be twice as dangerous as DUII,” said Sgt. John Umenhofer, Springfield Police Department.

Since 2010, 20 people in Oregon have lost their lives from crashes caused by texting. The Oregon Department of Transportation has had enough and is funding overtime for police to focus on stopping this deadly habit.

“We’re just gonna have zero tolerance on that. We’re gonna go after them and we’re gonna cite them,” Sgt. Umenhofer said.

With the extra eyes watching drivers, there’s a greater chance for those texting to get cited and have pay the $142 fee.

“Our officers, if they see someone doing it, they cite them 100 percent of the time,” Sgt. Umenhofer said.

Law enforcement warns that it may seem like a quick glance off the road, but it could wreak havoc.

“The average time it takes to send a text or to receive a text in a vehicle, just a small one, is about 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that could be the length of a football field,” said Carrie Carver, Lane County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

AT&T asked texters to take the pledge to stop texting at the wheel. For those who can’t resist, there are even apps to put phones on driving mode and send a message to contacts.

Law enforcement is cracking down, but they say they can’t be everywhere at once and need the public’s help to spread the word about this growing problem.

4 comments

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  1. Jeff says:

    Is there a way for us to report when we see someone texting and driven?

    1. jason marks says:

      yes of course,,, clog up the phone lines.. dial 911 immediately.

      If they don’t see it and you do, you have to arrest them, you have to go to court.

      is that worth your time?

  2. ahshucks says:

    If the city and lane county fined all the people texting and talking on their phones they would have enough money to run the jails and add more cops. Raise the fine too $200.00 per incident. I see about 10 in a 1 hour period on their phones.

  3. ahshucks says:

    Why pay overtime? Hire personnel to fine text’ers and talker’s while driving.

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