Law Enforcement in Moorhead Get Creative Finding Distracted Driv - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Law Enforcement in Moorhead Get Creative Finding Distracted Driving

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Law enforcement is stepping it up to catch distracted drivers. The message about texting and driving is hard to ignore with law enforcement campaigns in full force across North Dakota and Minnesota. In Moorhead a two day sting stopped 90 vehicles and 44 citations were issued for distracted driving. But the newest way cops are catching distracted drivers may surprise you more than the numbers.


Extra cops are looking for the head bob, we've all seen it before, associated with texting and driving. But the way they're catching folks in the act might catch you off guard.


Get caught texting and driving,checking your email or even GPS in Minnesota and it will cost you about 130 dollars.


But for the first time ever in Moorhead law enforcement is taking a new approach. It brought me right back to the good old days and no bullies in the back row to say the seat's taken.


"We're on board these buses the last couple of days to send the message we are looking for distracted drivers. To help protect some of the most important people in our community... the kids that are going to school and riding the buses," says Lt. Deric Swenson of the Moorhead Police Department.


From their elevated view cops have a pretty good vantage point of what's in your lap.Time after time folks driving down highway 75 found out the hard way they were being watched. Which is actually comforting for Dan Bacon, the Moorhead Public Schools Transportation Director who offered up one of their buses to the police.


"Anything that I can do to get people to drive better around my school buses makes everyone's life a little safer and easier," says Bacon.


This school year alone about 80 tickets have been given to drivers passing school buses, when their lights were flashing and the arm was down which indicates kids would be coming next.


"With the advent of people picking up cell phones and texting it's just gotten worse," says Bacon describing how more and more people are driving with distractions.


Maybe this new campaign will help drivers associate better driving with big yellow school buses.


"Just to get people to understand that school buses are an important vehicle to drive safely around. So when people see a squad they tend to improve their driving. So if we can get people to see a school bus and say I need to improve my driving behavior, it would make things better for everybody," says Bacon.


The Moorhead Police say their campaign won't stop today. You'll likely see them again in the coming months. They add that they plan on using school buses in the future to further their message that distracted driving is against the law.


Also keep in mind two thirds of the school buses in Moorhead currently have cameras that are snapping photos of everyone who passes them illegally.


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