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Police crack down on distracted driving

With April as National Distracted Driver Awareness Month, Oregon State Police, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Tualatin Police targeted distracted drivers Monday morning and will again on Friday afternoon.

“It’s just an ongoing education and enforcement effort to try to make drivers know that they can be part of the solution,” said Lt. Gregg Hastings, a public information officer with Oregon State Police.

In a press release, Oregon State Police described distracted driving as anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road, your hands off the wheel, or is audibly disruptive. A large factor in distracted driving is the illegal use of cellphones, and law enforcement officials will be enforcing rules.

According to ODOT, in Oregon between 2008 and 2012, 13 people were killed in crashes where drivers were using a handheld mobile communication device. In the same timeframe, 65 people in Oregon were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver of any kind.

“It’s going to be a long haul and effort to try to have a significant impact on distracted driving crashes,” said Hastings. “It’s not going to make things better overnight, but it is going to make people more aware overnight.”

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