State police crack down on distracted driving

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Distracted driving was a factor in three thousand accidents in Maine last year, 12 of those involved fatalities. That's why the Maine Bureau of Public Safety is making reducing this behavior behind the wheel one of their top priorities.

At a news conference Thursday, state police officials announced they are stepping up efforts to crack down on distracted drivers. They are setting up surveillance from highway overpasses and riding in tractor trailer rigs to have a better vantage point to see violations as they happen.

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is also promoting 'One Text Or Call Can Wreck It All' message on public service announcements and in high schools across the state.

The campaign is in conjunction with April being 'Distracted Driving Awareness Month. That includes having teens using distracted driving simulators to give them a chance to see how dangerous distracted driving can be.

'We have to get the message out to people not just young people but all people whether it is eating drink using electronic appliances it is all very dangerous while you are driving,' said Col. Robert Williams of the Maine State Police.

Triple A says cellphones are involved in one in ten fatal accidents on the road. Another concern -- the increase of the driving 'selfie,' people posing behind the wheel and posting pictures of themselves driving on social media.

Experts say this behavior is as dangerous as texting and driving and puts motorists at risk for an accident.

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