Distracted driving campaign set for high school prom weeks

Plymouth Public Safety Department has partnered with Armstrong and Wayzata high schools to have a distracted driving awareness campaign during the schools’ prom weeks.
The Minnesota State Patrol’s distracted driving crash vehicle will be on display May 10-12 at Armstrong High School, 10635 36th Ave. N., and May 19 at Wayzata High School, 4955 Peony Lane N.
The vehicle belonged to Charles Maurer, 54, of Becker, who was killed, along with his 10-year-old daughter, Cassy, after an unlicensed teen driver crashed into their vehicle, while she was sending Facebook messages on her cell phone.

As part of the campaign, Plymouth Public Safety staff members will greet students the morning before each school’s prom and warn students about the deadly consequences of distracted driving, as well as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
School announcements will also include messages regarding distracted driving during the week.

According to the Department of Public Safety, distracted or inattentive driving is when drivers engage in any activity that might distract them from the primary task of driving and increase their risk of crashing.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send text messages and emails, or access the internet using a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic – which includes vehicles stopped in traffic or at a traffic light.
Cell phone use is totally banned for school bus drivers, and for teen drivers during their permit and provisional license stages.