In an effort to save lives, law enforcement agencies across the state worked overtime in September for the statewide distracted driving enforcement campaign, U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

A total of 557 citations were attributed to the added patrols. Of the total citations, 296 were issued for distracted driving, 50 for other traffic citations (i.e. disobeying traffic signals, equipment violations), 80 citations for speeding, 24 citations for suspended/revoked license, 15 citations for being an uninsured motorist, three drug-related arrests and 20 citations for not wearing a seat belt.

Although distracted driving takes on many forms, texting is one of the most common. Texting while driving is a behavior so dangerous that drivers are 23 times more at risk of a crash or near-crash event. Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers in North Dakota.

Every driver and vehicle occupant in North Dakota can help meet the state’s Vision Zero goal of zero motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads by taking personal responsibility when driving. This means wearing a seat belt at all times, transporting children in child passenger safety seats appropriate for the child’s age, height and weight, driving distraction-free, driving sober (i.e. not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) and obeying all posted speed limits. High visibility enforcement for traffic safety is one element of a collaborative effort to reach the zero goal.