EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Troopers issued 93 warnings and citations to people caught texting while driving during the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” highway safety campaign, according to the Rhode Island State Police.
Col. James Manni said troopers stopped a total of 813 vehicles on the state’s highway for a variety of infractions during the campaign, which ran from April 8-15.
Manni said troopers issued 65 citations and warnings for operating a motor vehicle while using a hand-held device and 28 for texting while operating a motor vehicle.
Troopers also issued three citations and warnings for prohibited use of earphones and headsets while driving, according to Manni.
“No phone call or text is worth the risk of injury or death,” Manni said. “We strongly encourage all motorists to put down their phones and drive safely, which will help make the roadways safer for all motorists.”
Manni stressed that the goal was not to issue more citations and warnings, but rather to promote awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
State laws prohibit texting while driving as well as the use of hand-held cellphones and other communications devices behind the wheel. Anyone caught talking or texting on a hand-held device could be fined up to $100 with a license suspension of up to 30 days.
According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving has become a major cause of injury and death on the nation’s roadways. The organization estimates that at least nine people die and 100 are injured each day nationwide in crashes resulting from distracted driving.