ISP launches ‘safety blitz’ to crackdown on dangerous drivers

(WISH Photo, file/Kevin Stinson)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana State Police will be adding extra patrols to crack down on unsafe driving during the holiday season. The Holiday Travel Safety Blitz will start on Nov. 14 until the end of the month. Troopers will be looking for impaired drivers, drivers without seatbelts, drunk drivers, child restraint violations and drivers who are texting.

State Police are urging drivers to put down the phone. ISP has written 163 texting tickets so far this year — 28 of those in Marion County. It’s not just tickets that drivers need to worry about when they text behind the wheel. There have been 272 crashes caused by cell phone use in 2014.

Even though the consequences are clear, many drivers still text as they drive. A recent AT&T study found 90 percent of people know texting while driving is dangerous, but it doesn’t stop them from doing it. 24-Hour News 8 took the question to drivers in Indianapolis. The majority of people said they do text while driving, even though they know they shouldn’t.

“Our generation is very drawn to just texting and as a result, we feel like (there’s) no choice but to text when we’re driving,” said driver Chad Andrews.

Some people claim to be addicted to their phones.

“Sometimes I pick up my phone while I’m driving and I don’t even know I’m doing it, and then I put it down like, ‘OK this can wait,'” said IUPUI student Ramandee Kaur.

An Eskenazi mental health expert said he wouldn’t call it an “addiction,” but a bad habit people need to break.

“I think sometimes the pull of the phone is very great, and I think we always don’t think about what the potential consequences,” said Dean Babcock with Eskenazi Midtown Community Mental Health.

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