Cache County Attorney: Texting drivers are ‘on notice’

Cache County residents are being “put on notice” regarding distracted driving practices such as text messaging or being drowsy while driving.After three crashes in the past month and two deaths which were attributed to different kinds of distracted driving, Cache County Attorney James Swink said Monday that enough is enough.”The public has been put on notice,” Swink told members of the media Monday afternoon. Swink said law enforcement officials in the county will start vigorously enforcing a careless driving statute that allows people to be charged with a class-C misdemeanor if they are found to be driving distracted. That will couple with some of the nation’s toughest texting-while-driving laws to hopefully convince motorists to pay full attention to the road when driving.”We’re calling on parents and children alike to just turn off their phones when they’re in an automobile,” Swink said. “This needs to be brought to the forefront.”On Saturday, an article in the New York Times brought national attention to the Cache County case of Reggie Shaw, who in 2006 caused a crash that killed two men on State Road 30, also known as Valley View Highway. Shaw was charged and convicted of texting while driving. As part of his sentence, Shaw was ordered to participate in the filming of a public service film regarding the dangers of texting while driving. Cache County Victim’s Advocate Terryl Warner said that video, available at www.zerofatalities.com, has had more than 100,000 views since it was published last month.In the meantime, locally, Swink said, texting and driving will be prosecuted and enforced as stringently as DUIs are. Swink encouraged residents to call police if they see someone text messaging while driving, just as they would if they saw someone drinking a beer while driving.

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