Stepped-up statewide enforcement plan aimed at drivers violating text law “U Drive U Text U Pay”

State Troopers and local law enforcement officers will be watching more closely in the coming days for drivers who violate the Arkansas texting law. The statewide crackdown by law enforcement officers is scheduled for April 13 to 19 and is part of a national high visibility campaign known as “U Drive U Text U Pay”.

The campaign combines intense enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving along with advertising and media outreach to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver’s responsibility to obey texting laws. “Texting while driving is illegal and irresponsible,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “I believe the strict enforcement of the no texting while driving law is vital if we’re going to keep Arkansas highways and roads safe.”

Arkansas law prohibits the use of a cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver’s age. It is also a “primary offense law,” which means a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation. For the first offense, a driver can be issued a warning ticket, but for subsequent violations fines can range as high as $100.

Drivers should be aware of additional state laws related to distracted driving. It is illegal for all drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones.
All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. And, drivers 18 to 20 years using a cell phone are required to use a hands-free device.
“Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving,” said Colonel Bryant. “That’s why State Troopers and other law enforcement officers will be out in force across Arkansas during the crackdown in an effort to reduce the threat of injury or death that may be caused by drivers who violate the texting law.”

For more information on distracted driving issues, visit www.Distraction.gov, www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.

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