2018-04-16 / Front Page

Sanilac sheriff steps up patrols to stop texting

BY CATHY BARRINGER
Staff Writer

SANDUSKY — If you dare to text and drive, be on the lookout.

The Sanilac County Sheriff’s Dept. is joining the Michigan Office of Highway Safety during the month of April by stepping up patrols for motorists who text while driving.

Michigan’s texting law prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving. Drivers convicted of a first offense may be fined $100 with subsequent offenses of $200.

The third national enforcement campaign, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.,” has two goals: enforce anti-texting laws and make drivers aware of the enforcement to encourage them to obey the law this month and beyond.

“Driving and texting is not only dangerous and irresponsible — it’s illegal,” said Sanilac Sheriff Garry Biniecki.

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves three main types of distraction:

• Visual: taking your eyes off the road.

• Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.

• Cognitive: taking your mind off the task of driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving statistics paint a grim picture. In 2016, an estimated 3,450 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving crashes made up 9.2 percent of all fatal crashes in 2016.

In Michigan, distracted driving accounted for 12,788 crashes in 2016. Those crashes resulted in 43 fatalities and 5,103 injuries, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.

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