Operation Chain Reaction: Stop distracted driving! - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Operation Chain Reaction: Stop distracted driving!

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     If you've got a bad habit of multi-tasking when behind the wheel, it's time to change your ways.
     All April long, West Virginia State Police are cracking down on distracted driving of all kinds.
     It's called Operation Chain Reaction.
     On Monday, our 59 News crews stood on the corner of a busy intersection in Beckley to see just how many distracted drivers we could catch.
     In about 30 minutes there were more than 30 people just on their cell phones.
     And it's not just the cops that are fed up with distracted drivers.
Mike Bunkey of Raleigh County said, "I almost got hit twice this morning by people texting and driving and one person was talking on the phone and pulled out in front of me! It was a bad morning."
     This month for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, state police are cracking down on ALL types of distracted driving.
     State troopers said "ddistracted driving can include but is not limited to the following acts while driving a motor vehicle: putting on makeup, shaving, reading a paper, and eating."
     If you haven't made the switch to a hands free device yet, now's the time.
Diane Meador of Raleigh County said, "I'm trying to get better at it, I set the phone down in the seat next to me and I bought a wireless headset today."
     State police said they will be out in full force this month making people aware just how serious they are about cracking down on distracted driving.
Using a cellular phone while driving a motor vehicle becomes a primary offense in West Virginia on July 1, 2013.
That means the police do not need another reason to pull you over and hand you a ticket of $100 on the first offense.
The name of this initiative (Operation Chain Reaction) was submitted to the West Virginia State Police by the Winfield High School Marketing Class.  Operation Chain Reaction's goal is as follows: Start a Chain Reaction, Eliminate Distraction!