Hands free isn't risk free: law enforcement caution drivers - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Hands free isn't risk free: law enforcement caution holiday drivers

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TYLER (KYTX) - As holiday celebrations and summer travel kick off, law enforcement will be enforcing the rules of the road. But there are some things drivers could keep in mind for themselves.

As the July 4 weekend rolls around people are hitting the road, Emeka Walker and her brother in law Larry Hampton are staying in Tyler for a birthday party.

Hampton is the birthday girls father, and he is footing the bill for the celebration in Bergfeld park.

 "You see that big ol' thing back there," he told CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey. "I had to pay for that so it kept me from going where, but it's for my little girl." 

For the people that will be leaving law enforcement will be looking out for traffic violators and people under the influence. As for drivers, they can look out for distracted driving. State Troopers say distracting driving kills about 3,000 people across the country each year. They say choosing hand-held devices over something else won't make much difference.

 "When you add the more traffic more people are attending parties, and then getting behind the wheel, that's what makes it worse," said Smith County Public Information officer John Moore. 
"Any type of distraction no matter how small can result in a life changing event," Moore said.

Going hands free or not using your cell phone is not the only type of distraction. Putting on your make-up, changing the radio station, scolding your children in the back seat: Law enforcement says any type of activity that takes your sole focus off the road is a distraction

Distracted driving is thought to be a factor in at least one in four crashes. Texting is often cited as the cause but officers say hands free devices doesn't mean risk free.


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