Nearly 1,000 Minnesota drivers got tickets during a police crackdown earlier this month on texting while driving.
More than 300 agencies took part in the anti-texting campaign. State law forbids drivers to read, compose or send texts and e-mails, or go online while their vehicle is in motion or stopped in traffic. But many people ignore the law.
"We had a trooper try to stop a texting driver for two miles before the driver actually pulled over," said Donna Berger, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety. "They weren't fleeing. They were just so distracted from their texting."
Last year, texting and other forms of distracted driving contributed to 74 deaths in Minnesota.
"Unfortunately, I believe many people have an addiction to their phone and multi-tasking behind the wheel and believe that they can do it safely," Berger said.
There's a $50 fine for first-time texting offenders. Subsequent violations cost $275.