Distracted driving is dangerous driving. Between 2016 and 2017 texting citations rose nearly 23-percent in Minnesota.

Mike Hanson is the state director of traffic safety and said, “This is a personal choice that every driver makes when they get behind the wheel. It’s no different than deciding not to drive after you’ve had something to drink.”

Hanson said more than 7,000 tickets were written statewide last year, and added that the number is   alarming. He called it, “A selfish decision when a driver chooses to put that cell phone and their need to be connected to it above the safety and well being of those that are sharing the roads with them.”

Distracted driving in Minnesota contributes to one in four crashes in Minnesota and an average of 59 deaths and 223 serious injuries a year.

The Mankato Department of Public Safety wrote 16 distracted driving citations in 2017.