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Published April 21, 2011, 06:22 PM

GF Texting Ban In Place for 6 Months; Only 3 Citations Issued

Minnesota is cracking down on distracted driving as Grand Forks' texting-while-driving has been in place for six months.

Minnesota is cracking down on distracted driving as Grand Forks' texting-while-driving has been in place for six months.

"It's difficult, it's very difficult," said GFPD officer DaLee Wilkinson on enforcing the ban. "They give you the panic look. More than likely they were texting, but it's hard, it's still hard to tell, very difficult to tell" said Wilkinson.

It's been six months since the start of the texting ban and so far, only three citations have been written. Two tickets and one warning.

"I think a lot of it is knowledge. They see the signs and they know the laws, but they might not understand some consequences. So you just inform them on that too, it does hinder some," said Wilkinson.

"I remember before the ban, you could tell people were texting all the time because they would hold (the phone) up. Not that it's a benefit, but they are concealing if they are texting now," said Wilkinson.

With people driving SUV's and trucks its hard to see people's hands. Police say texting and driving impairs your driving as much as drinking and driving, but people are starting to get the message.

"People are finally starting to get it. They're paying attention to the public service announcements, the commercials on tv. And I think what we're seeing now is more of a voluntary policing of themselves," said Lt. Grand Schiller with the Grand Forks Police Department.

The cost for texting and driving is a $15 ticket.

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