St.  Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A recent statewide crackdown on distracted driving resulted in nearly 5400 citations involving violations of Minnesota's hands-free cell phone law.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the citation total for the enforcement campaign last month was nearly 2000 higher than the number reported after a similar effort last year. 278 law enforcement agencies throughout the state participated in the 2024 campaign, which is comparable to the number of participating agencies in 2023.

“The number of citations issued is disturbing, unacceptable and extremely frustrating,” said Mike Hanson, OTS director. “Getting distracted behind the wheel for even a couple seconds can end with someone being seriously hurt or killed. What if that someone was your loved one? Put distractions away and make the roads safer for everyone.”

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Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo

The report highlighted the work of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. It says deputies working with school crossing guards led to tickets being issued to five motorists for cell phone use violations.

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In St. Paul, two drivers were cited twice during the same day for distracted driving. St. Paul police also reported ticketing another motorist for a hands-free violation three days after the person was ticketed for the same offense in the same area.

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The Minnesota State Patrol says troopers assigned to the Rochester District issued 166 tickets during the enforcement campaign. The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office was responsible for 44 distracted driving citations, and in the Rochester Police Department issued 19 tickets.

READ MORE: List of citations issued by participating Minnesota Law Enforcement Agencies

More Minnesota News:


See How Minnesota's License Plates Have Evolved Since 1909

Nothing beats a nostalgia trip. It's always fun to see how things looked the year you were born and how much they've changed throughout the years.

Minnesota's license plates have certainly gone through many evolutions. The first "license plate" was actually a rectangular black leather automobile license tag with a brass number '1' on the center front. It was issued by the State Boiler Inspector in the State of Minnesota in 1903.

The first Minnesota license plate as we know it was issued in 1909. Let's take a look at that license plate and then all the plates that followed, along with some interesting Wikipedia knowledge as we go.

We've certainly come a long way, but it's also interesting that the now popular blackout plates have been around before.

Gallery Credit: David Drew

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