Behind the scenes: Michigan State Police crack down on distracted driving

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It was just last month, Michigan State Police enforced the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign where officers arrested nearly 450 drivers for drunk driving.

But this month, it’s time to focus on distracted driving and Michigan State Police keep a closer eye on drivers than you might think.

When on the road Michigan State Police Trooper Rachel Ramey says of the nearly 30 people she pulls over every day…approximately 10 of those drivers are distracted and she says the top distraction is texting and driving.

“We actually have our cameras in here and we’ll turn our cameras and hit record so that we can catch them actually texting and then we’ll pull up to the vehicle and we’ll look right in the vehicle and see if they were texting or not or even just distracted with their phone,” said Trooper Ramey.

To spot pre-occupied people behind the wheel, Trooper Ramey says Michigan State Police use a special strategy.

“We have a detail that we have where we have plain clothes and plain cars that will go out and they’ll sit on the expressway and they’ll kind of drive past cars and if they see somebody that is texting and driving, they’ll radio to our patrol cars that are labeled,” Trooper Ramey stated.

She says this tactic is extremely helpful to crack down on drivers who aren’t following the rules of the road.

“Oh definitely because a lot of the time anybody sees our cars they’re automatically going to put away their phone,” said Trooper Ramey.

She says often times accidents are caused by a driver not paying attention and she hopes people just stay focused on the road.

“Essentially it takes only a couple of seconds to look away and next thing you know you’re in an accident or you’re off the road…you never know who you’re going to hit it could be a family, it could be anybody it could be your family,” Trooper Ramey stated.

She says if pulled over for distracted driving a ticket is not cheap…a citation starts at $100 and goes up from there.

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