VALE – Local law enforcement agencies are preparing a major crackdown on inattentive drivers during the next two weeks.

The effort, part of statewide distracted driving campaign, will see police across the county aggressively enforcing distracted driving laws such as using a cell phone while driving. 

The first effort will kick off Thursday, April 4, and includes the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, Ontario Police Department, Nyssa Police Department and the Oregon State Police. 

The sheriff’s office, using grant money from the state, will conduct a second distracted driving dragnet April 11.

In a six-year period beginning in 2012, nearly 20,000 people died in the U.S. because of distracted driving. Districted driving deaths comprise 9.5 percent of all fatal crashes between 2012 and 2017. 

Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

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