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Mississippi Highway Patrol Launches New “Pay Attention or Pay A Fine” Campaign

By Paul Boger | Published 04 Nov 2013 11:21am | comments
Distracted driving is the second leading cause of traffic fatalities in Mississippi. MPB's Paul Boger reports it's the reason the Mississippi Highway Patrol has launched a new campaign to remind motorists to keep their focus on the road.
 
More than 3,300 people killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
 
Don Redman is with AAA.
 
"It's right up there with drinking and driving." said Redman. "In Mississippi we're talking about 27 or 28% of traffic fatalities are caused by those who are impaired by alcohol. Distractions can become impairments of their own. A lot of law enforcement are now looking at bare-minimum 25% of fatal crashes involve some form of distraction.
 
The Mississippi Highway patrol has kicked off its newest safe driving campaign, "Pay Attention or Pay a Fine." The aim is to remind Mississippi drivers to focus on the road, and not on the other stuff around them.
 
Trooper Tony Dunn is a spokesman for the highway patrol.
 
"The campaign, we're going to heave troopers in unmarked cars look for people that's doing that, driving distractedly." said Dunn. "And once they see someone who is driving distractedly, they'll notify a marked unit. The marked unit, along with that plain, unmarked, undercover car will actually pull that vehicle over and site them.
 
Dunn admits most people think of cell phones as the main cause of distraction, but he says there are plenty of other ways to lose focus.
 
"It can be turning your radio to a certain dial, putting make-up on in the morning, or anything that takes your focus away from what you're supposed to be doing is distracted driving.
 
According to website Distraction.gov, Mississippi has a ban on using cell phones while driving, but only for teens and bus drivers.

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