The Eden Prairie Police Department blog provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about the people who work there — their stories, their lives, their work in Eden Prairie and their thoughts on topics from driving to dogs.
From June 1 – 14, EPPD officers will be on the lookout for motorists who are driving distracted as part of a statewide distracted driving campaign.
Since Minnesota’s hands-free driving law went into effect on August 1, 2019, the EPPD has issued 197 citations and 107 written warnings for distracted driving. As a reminder, under Minnesota’s new law, it is illegal to have your phone in your hand while you’re driving. This includes when you are sitting at a stoplight, stop sign or in traffic.
The first ticket is more than $120, which includes the fine plus court fees. The second and later tickets are more than $300, which includes the fine plus court fees. If you injure or kill someone because of texting and driving, you can face a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or homicide.
While phones are the most widely discussed distraction, there are other ways in which drivers can become distracted including:
- Music and other controls. Tip: pre-program favorite radio stations for easy access and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and heat/AC before traveling, or ask a passenger to assist.
- Navigation. Tip: designate a passenger to serve as a co-pilot to help with directions. If driving alone, map out destinations in advance.
- Eating and drinking. Tip: try to avoid consuming food and beverages, in particular messy foods, and be sure food and drinks are secured.
- Children. Tip: teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.
The EPPD would like to remind all drivers that when you are driving, your ONLY responsibility is to drive.