ELPD shifts distracted driving campaign into high gear

LANSING, MICH. (WLNS)— It’s dangerous to text and drive on the local roads. So you can bet it’s even more of a problem when you’re driving 70 mph. East Lansing Police have been keeping a sharp eye on texting and driving on city streets— but now they’re taking those efforts to the highway where speed and texting can be a deadly combination.

“The more time you have with your eyes off the road and on your phone, the farther you’re traveling. So if you’re not going straight in your lane or you’re drifting from side to side, you’re going that much further and that much off course and that’s when the accident happens,” explained ELPD Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth, who drove us around during these traffic stops Tuesday afternoon.

For perspective, a car going 70 mph travels the length of a football field—in just three seconds.

Wriggelsworth says even if you’re playing by the rules and using the phone to make a call, you can still be distracted.

“If it’s that one or two seconds that’s taking your focus off the roadway to your phone, that could be the one or two seconds you need to keep from getting in an accident at 80 miles an hour.”

“Distracted driving is one of the main reasons for auto crashes,” says Lori Conarton, communications director for the Insurance Institute of Michigan.

According to her, if the number of collisions climbs, everyone pays the price.

“Accidents go up, of course the cost of those accidents go up. Then everybody pays for that.”

So the bottom line is if you are texting and driving, stop. And if you see someone else driving distracted, you should tell them to put down the phone too.



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