Distracted Driving Awareness Month means increased enforcement

ELKHART, Ind. -- April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA is launching a national enforcement effort with help from local agencies.

"Distractions behind the wheel can have devastating consequences,” said Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Executive Director Devon McDonald. “We urge all motorists to focus on the road and avoid any activity that takes their attention away from driving safely."

Officials say law enforcement officers all over the country will work together to enforce texting and distracted-driving laws.

"People know using their phone while driving is dangerous and often illegal, but they do it anyway, and put themselves and others at risk," said Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office Captain Michael Culp. "Drivers will see increased law enforcement efforts, as officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is caught texting and driving."

Authorities say violating Indiana’s hands-free law could result in a Class C infraction with fines of up to $500 and points added to the culprit's license.

"Cell phone use while driving is dangerous and illegal," Culp said. "Break the cycle."

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