- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts State Police are launching a crackdown on distracted driving, particularly texting while driving.

Troopers in marked and unmarked vehicles will show zero tolerance for offenders during the stepped up enforcement effort that is scheduled run through June 28.

Lt. Stephen Walsh, operational officer of the initiative, says the goal is to educate the public and save lives. He says most drivers won’t comply with the law unless they face real penalties.

In Massachusetts, composing, sending or reading an electronic message while driving is subject to a $100 fine for the first offense. Subsequent violations could result in $500 fines.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in 2012, more than 3,300 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.

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