State Troopers to Target Distracted Drivers

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Oxford, Miss.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is launching a safe driving program Friday in which troopers will stop and warn motorists who, as a result of eating, texting or not paying attention to the road, drive in an unsafe manner.

Patrol spokesman, Trooper Joey Miller, says distracted driving is one of the leading contributors to accidents.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving-related crashes in 2011.

The Highway Patrol's Pay Attention or Pay a Fine initiative will kick off in the Oxford area along Mississippi Highway 6. The program will eventually expand statewide.

Miller says troopers in unmarked cars will observe drivers and report distracted drivers to marked units in the area.

Motorists committing serious offenses such as drinking while driving will be ticketed.