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Distracted Driving Awareness Month

(WHBC) – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month so don’t even attempt to send a tweet, like someone’s Facebook post or text your significant other while behind the wheel.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office will have extra enforcement in April focusing on impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving.

Major C.J. Stantz says they’ve seen it all over the years.

“People using their cell phones, playing with the radio, putting makeup on.”

He says rubbernecking at accident scenes is also a problem and sometimes leads to a second crash at that location.

“That’s how you get pileups, because they’re looking at the crash and not the road in front of them.”

In support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Stark County Safe Communities is encouraging drivers to put down the phone while driving.

“It seems that every day, you can look out of your car’s window and see a driver using their cell phone,” said Sharon George of Stark County Safe Communities.

“People know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts others at risk.”

She says violating Ohio’s distracted driving laws can be costly.

Drivers under 18 years of age face a $150 fine and a 60-day license suspension for the use of any mobile communications device while driving for a first offense.

For a second violation the fine increases to $300 and the license suspension increases to one year.

Adult drivers face a $150 fine for texting, reading or sending an e-mail.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2012-2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.

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