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Putnam County Sheriff Cracking Down on Distracted Driving

Reported: Apr. 4, 2014 8:26 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 4, 2014 11:35 PM EDT
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WINFIELD, W. Va. (Sean Delancey) -- The Putnam County Sheriff's department is joining with a state and national agency to crack down on distracted driving.

Sheriff Steve Deweese said between April 4 and April 13 deputies will be along the side of Interstate 64 looking for people using their phones while they drive.

People in Putnam County applaud the move. Ralph McBride said he has driven big rigs in the Putnam County area for five years and has a message for people texting and driving.

"You're endangering everybody's life," McBride said. "Not just yours, you're endangering everybody's lives especially when there are children aboard. Stop texting and driving."

McBride said 18-wheeler trucks take on average 150 yards to come to a full stop, and distracted drivers often cut him off making for a dangerous situation.

Other people in the area say they compare the danger of distracted driving to that of another dangerous time to get behind the wheel.

"It's probably worse than being drunk because at least somebody that's drunk tries to pay attention and behave themselves," Amanda Tyler said.

A report form the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, in 2012, roughly 3,400 people were killed in accidents involving a distracted driver.

People in Putnam County say the increased surveillance is a step in the right direction to making that number go down.



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