(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is urging motorists to put their phones down while behind the wheel. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says his deputies have seen many incidents of drivers who are paying more attention to their cellular devices than their driving during crash investigations. He says some those crashes have resulted in the loss of someone’s life.
According to the state statutes no person while driving a motor vehicle may be engaged or occupied with an activity, other than driving the vehicle, that interferes with their ability to drive safely. It also states that no person may drive while sending a text message or email.
Schmidt says his office and local police departments are not able to affect the culture change needed to make local roadways safer alone. He says they can, and do, issues citations for inattentive driving, but the culture or driving while distracted can best be changed by the public. The sheriff notes that drivers need to make a conscious decision to put their phones down at all times, not just when there is a squad car around.
Schmidt adds that passengers also need to raise concerns with drivers who do not put away their devices. He says the sheriff’s office will not tolerate incidents of inattentive driving and they will take enforcement action if necessary.