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Wheeling police crack down on distracted driving

Wheeling police targeted texting while driving during a recent wolfpack operation. (WTOV)

It's National Distracted Driving Month and Wheeling police are cracking down on drivers.

This busy intersection is an area where a lot of distracted driving crashes occur, and that's why Wheeling police are out in full force.

"The Wheeling police department conducted a wolf pack operation specifically looking for violators using cell phones while driving," said Lt. Phil Redford, special operations commander.

Lt. Redford says during this operation, they watch for those who talk on the phone or text while driving, and their increased enforcement will continue.

"Officers are working overtime patrols through a grant of the governor's highway safety office looking for distracted driving," Redford said.

The most recent operation took place Monday between 4 and 8 p.m. Wheeling police targeted two high traffic areas: one in the 2000 block of National Road and the second at the Bethany Pike and National Road intersection.

"Areas that we have a high number of traffic crashes, in those 2 areas we issued 46 citations for distracted driving," Redford said.

Redford says a large number of crashes take place because of cell phones, whether it be talking, texting or dialing while driving.

Redford says drivers can use a Bluetooth device, but he's also seen a number of other behaviors that contribute to crashes within the city.

"Changing radio stations to animals in the car, we've seen people putting makeup on while driving, even shaving while driving," Redford said.

Wheeling police are making an effort to reduce the number of crashes, but you can help by avoiding risky behaviors, slowing down and being cautious.

Police say they will be conducting more distracted driving operations through May.

They want drivers to remember you must use hands-free devices only in West Virginia.

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