3,427 drivers cited for Distracted Driving during April Enforcement Campaign

(ABC 6 News) – Law enforcement across Minnesota wrapped up a month-long distracted driving enforcement campaign aimed at educating drivers and stopping the dangerous behavior.

Results April 1-30:

  • • 3,427 drivers were cited for hands-free cell phone violations.
  • • 275 Minnesota agencies participated.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) coordinates the effort, which included extra enforcement, education and awareness to help influence drivers to pay attention and keep people safe on the road.

“It’s mind-blowing that this many people still don’t get it. Distractions are deadly, plain and simple,” OTS Director Mike Hanson said. “You have one job behind the wheel – and that’s driving. Not eating. Not scrolling through your phone. Not putting on makeup. Pay attention to the road and get yourself and your passengers home safe.”

In southeast Minnesota, agencies with the most citations included:

  • Albert Lea Police Department 36
  • Blooming Prairie Police Department 6
  • Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office 16
  • Kasson Police Department 21
  • MN State Patrol ‐ District 2100 (Rochester) 12
  • Mower County Sheriff’s Office 4
  • Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office 6
  • Rochester Police Department 39
  • Zumbrota Police Department 4

View the full list of participating agencies.

Distracted Driving is Dangerous Driving

  • More than 32,000 crashes were distracted driving-related from 2018-2022, contributing to one in 11 crashes in Minnesota.
  • In 2022, preliminary figures show distracted driving contributed to 126 injuries and 22 deaths.
  • Distracted driving contributes to 9 percent of crashes in Minnesota.

Hands-free cell phone use became law on Aug. 1, 2019, in Minnesota. The law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone.

Video calling, streaming videos, accessing social media or using the internet are all still against the law in Minnesota, even in hands-free mode. Visit HandsFreeMN.org and DriveSmartMN.org for more information about the law.