EVANSVILLE, Ind – Evansville Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies across the state and nation for a one-day (24-hour) enforcement campaign called Connect 2 Disconnect. Beginning on Thursday, Lieutenant Matt Corn with the sheriff’s office said officers will be conducting high visibility patrols to remind motorists about the dangers and consequences of texting and distracted driving.
“We’re targeting drivers that are out driving with a cell phone in hand. Driving with a cell phone obviously can be dangerous. So we’re out stopping cars and raising awareness,” Lt. Corn said.
Distracted driving is considered any activity that diverts attention away from the task of driving and
includes everything from adjusting the stereo to grooming to eating and drinking. Although all forms are considered dangerous, as they increase the risk of crashing, texting continues to be the most pervasive.
“It’s just reckless driving and I think the penalties ought to be more,” resident David Akers said about texting and driving.
On average, people that text and drive take their attention away from the road for five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the full length of a football field blindfolded.
In 2020, Indiana became the 22nd state in the nation to pass a hands-free device driving law, which prohibits motorists from holding a mobile device, except in emergencies, while their vehicles are moving. Anyone caught violating the law could face a Class C infraction with fines up to $500.
Since the law went into effect last July, more than 2,918 citations and 7,352 warnings have been issued statewide as of March 31, according to the criminal justice institute.