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Texting while driving tickets increased 30 percent last year

Citations for texting while driving are up in Minnesota for the sixth straight year.

Mike Hanson joined the Office of Traffic Safety as director in November of 2017.

Law enforcement officials statewide issued 9,545 tickets in 2018 and that’s a 30-percent increase over the previous year. Since 2012, texting citations have gone up by 459-percent.

“It’s drivers making bad decisions behind the wheel and choosing to make a selfish decision instead of paying attention to what’s important which is the road in front of them,” said Mike Hanson with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The statistics show there were at least 27 distraction-related deaths on Minnesota roads last year and so far this year two people have already been killed in distracted-driving-related crashes.

Hanson is imploring Minnesotans to, “Put the phone down, get the eyes up, pay attention to what’s important for your safety, the safety of your passengers, the safety of all the other road users, all the vulnerable road users.”