State Police crackdown on distracted drivers | News

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State Police crackdown on distracted drivers

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- You may notice a larger police presence on the roads. State police are cracking down on drivers not wearing their seat belts and driving while distracted.

Maine State Trooper Michael Johnston said, "I would rank distracted driving in terms of how dangerous it is right up there with driving while fatigued or driving while impaired."

The effort started this summer when the Chief of State Police ordered officers to beef up enforcement. The number of drivers pulled over has increased and police say they will continue their efforts until they receive voluntary compliance by drivers.

Over the last three months, nearly three thousand drivers have been stopped for seat belt violations. Additionally, five hundred drivers were stopped for distracted driving including texting.

Officers, however, admit it is difficult to detect distracted drivers and even when someone is stopped the act itself does not violate a law.

"I would need to show that that was a causation or contributing factor to them committing another violation of law or getting into an accident. That behavior either actually impairs their ability to drive or reasonably expected that it impairs their ability to drive and then it causes them to commit some other violation of law," said Johnston.

State Police will continue their crackdown on seat belts and distracted drivers through the end of the year.