Texting And Driving Crack Down Launches

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- State and local law enforcement are on high alert, looking for anyone texting behind the wheel.

"When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, no text message is so important that it cannot wait," said Julie Brietenstein. "When you are driving, every text message can wait."

Brietenstein joined the Topeka Police, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office and Kansas Highway Patrol at the Statehouse on Friday, to kick off the "U Drive, U Text, U Pay Campaign." Her son, Austin, suffered permanent, traumatic brain damage in a 2009 crash in which he was texting while driving.

The high-visibility enforcement runs through April 27th. It is intended to let people know about distracted driving enforcement, and encourage everyone to follow the law.

"We were at a point at one point in time where we had to decide on what organs we were going to choose to give. Austin was that close to death," said Breitenstein.

In 2012, there were 107 fatalities on Kansas roads caused by distracted driving, which accounts for 26 percent of all fatal accidents that year.