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Arkansas State Police to begin ‘U Drive, U Text, You Pay’ campaign



Little Rock, Arkansas – Drivers who choose to text while driving are being severely punished by the Arkansas State Police.

According to officials, from October 17 through October 23, law enforcement agencies in Arkansas will step up their patrols of roads looking for motorists breaking the state’s texting while driving legislation.

A program called “U Drive, U Text, You Pay” aims to reduce distracted driving. Statewide law enforcement agencies have vowed to support each other in executing the law and teaching offenders.

Since 2007, drivers in the millennial age group have allegedly become the worst offenders for texting and driving, according to the police.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 are more likely than older drivers to be caught using handheld electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.

According to officials, parents are urged to talk to their teenagers about adopting safe driving practices during the impending enforcement campaign, especially the rule of never sending or reading texts while driving.

Along with the promotion, National Teen Driver Safety Week is taking place from October 16 to 22. Officials are urging parents to use this time to set a positive example for their teenage children who are learning to drive.

“It’s incomprehensible why anyone would read or send a text message while driving,” Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative said. “People, young and old alike know it’s dangerous and deadly, but they selfishly put others at risk. Beginning October 17th state troopers and law enforcement officers across Arkansas will increase their emphasis toward identifying drivers who text while driving and issuing citations for the violation,” Colonel Bryant stated.”

Law enforcement officials in Arkansas and the Arkansas Highway Safety Office advise motorists to put down their phones while driving.

Officials are urging drivers to remember the following tips:

• If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
• Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
• Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
• Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.