DPS officers announce crackdown on distracted driving

DPS officers announce crackdown on distracted driving

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

How often does it happen? The driver next to you drifts over in your lane or rolls through a stop sign and you see they are texting or talking on the phone.

DPS Highway Patrol officers see it all the time and starting Thursday they are cracking down.

Officers will be looking for all kinds of distracted driving, not just texting and driving.

If you look around in traffic, you will find distracted drivers everywhere. FOX 10 saw drivers holding their phones talking, throwing their hands up in the air, or looking down to text. Others were falling victim to a seemingly innocent behavior such as changing the stereo.

"Umm probably changing music on my phone or something like that," said Rebecca Lyback.

Or paying attention to little ones in the car, "Usually if he throws a fit or something i'll try to pull over, but I mean yeah, that can distract me sometimes when I'm reaching back to try to make sure he's got his stuff os his juice or whatever," said Melissa Busch.

These are the distractions that could lead to a crash. That is what officers want to put an end to.

Starting Thursday they will pull over drivers if they see distracted driving happening. Officers say many traffic violations like speeding, unsafe lane changes, and failure to stop are often the result of distracted driving.

"I do know if you look down at your phone you're not looking at the road right at that moment," said Busch.

It takes the average person 4.6 seconds to read or send a text message, in that time someone driving 55 miles per hour will go 100 yards. That's the length of a football field.

DPS defines distracted driving as "Any activity that diverts a driver's attention from the primary task of driving".

"I think it's a good idea to give a ticket, so people can be scared and don't text," said Sergon Samrus.

The enforcement effort will start Thursday and continue through Tuesday, April 15th.

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