SOUTH CHARLESTON - An unprecedented number of citations for distracting driving were made in a week-long multi-agency enforcement campaign called the "6 State Trooper Project," accordingto West Virginia State Police.
The West Virginia State Police joined forces with Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and the Indiana State Police on major interstates from June 16-22, in an ongoing effort to combat distracted driving.
Nearly 2,000 citations for distracted driving were issued among the six states.
Distracted driving citations include texting, cell phone, reckless and careless driving.
During this same time frame, there were 201 collisions reported involving distracted driving behavior throughout the six state region.
"Effective July 1, 2013, cellular phone usage without a hands free device while driving becomes a primary offense in West Virginia," said Col. Jay Smithers.
"A simple change in behavior by investing in a hands free device such as a Bluetooth or a Jabra ear piece will allow motorists to keep both hands on the wheel, thereby enhancing highway safety not only for themselves but for other motorists as well."
The number of distracted driving citations submitted by the West Virginia State Police to the 6 State Trooper Project will be released during Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's Press Conference at 2 p.m. Monday at Tamarack in Beckley.
The '6-State Trooper Project' began in 2012 with three planned enforcement campaigns targeting operating a vehicle under the influence and marijuana interdiction. The campaign yielded 582 DUI arrests and seizure of 210 pounds of marijuana and 14,327 marijuana plants.
Command staff from all six states reconvened earlier this year and planned three additional multi-state efforts for 2013 that included distracted driving, DUI and marijuana interdiction.
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