Massachusetts State Police Are Cracking Down on Distracted Driving

Friendly reminder: Don't text and drive.

Massachusetts State Police are teaming up with local law enforcement departments to crack down on distracted drivers.

As part of a three-week campaign to curb cell phone use while driving, police around the state will be stepping up their efforts against the dangerous practice.

“You can’t surf the web, you can’t play Words With Friends, you can’t be on Facebook,” Jeff Larason, the state’s director of highway safety, told WBZ. “Any of those things, put the phone down and you can’t do it at a red light.”

State Police Lt. Dan Griffin told WBZ that one of the most common infractions occurs at stop lights, where drivers tend to pull out their phones in order to answer a text or browse the Internet.

“That’s a violation of the law,” Griffin said. “It’s gotten so bad that we’re actually modifying our forms right now to track it better.”

In January, the State Senate voted to approve a ban on using cell phones and other hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle.

The new rules would include a tiered system of fines for violators. First time offenders would receive a $100 fine, followed by a $250 fine for a second offense, and a $500 penalty for a third violation.