The state of Kentucky is working to make its roadways safer as they gear up to crack down on texting and driving.
Along with ‘National Distracted Driving Awareness Month,' law enforcement all over the state will step up efforts to get drivers to put down the phone. It's all a part of the first national texting enforcement crackdown called "U drive. U text. U pay."
The state will give out federal money to fund overtime for some agencies strictly to enforce the state's anti-texting law.
Aimee Eckert is a newlywed with a brand new job. She knows firsthand how dangerous texting and driving can be after an April 2011 accident in Alabama.
"I was in a very bad car accident on a back road. Someone was texting and driving going 75 in a 35 and hit me head on," said Eckert.
Two passengers in Eckert's car were relatively unharmed. The driver who hit her was also uninjured.
The next five months Eckert would spend in a hospital. She later had to have her leg amputated.
"Everything was broken head to toe pretty much," she said. "I lost a pregnancy, had a hysterectomy, put a stent in my heart. There was a long recouping process."
To stop accidents like that from happening to anyone else, Kentucky is cracking down on texting and driving offenders the national initiative. The state has also partnered up to use an app called ‘Text Limit,' which limits or disables the ability to get a text once your vehicle hits a set speed.
"Texting and driving - it's become one of the major problems," said Detective Andrew Schierberg of the Kenton County Police. "People don't take it seriously."
Schierberg expects the Kenton County Police to be part of this texting crackdown initiative. Fighting text messaging drivers is already part of their patrolling routine.
"It does cause a number of accidents. It's just dangerous," he added. "Our officers, they are really looking at targeted enforcement."
Eckert is trying to get the word out as much as she can, even with her "DNT TEXT" license plate.
She's thankful something is being done to stop the growing problem. However, it breaks her heart to see people driving past her with a phone in hand.
"It's not worth killing someone. It's not worth killing yourself. It's just not worth it," said Eckert.
The text limit app is $24.99, but there is a promo code to get a year of service free. Use promo code "notextky" when signing up at www.textlimit.com.
If you break Kentucky's texting law, you're looking a fine of $25 for your first offense.After that, $50 fines on each subsequent offense.
In the most recent numbers available from 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than 3,300 people were killed, on top of 421,000 injured in distraction-related crashes nationwide.
For more information on the mobile app, click here: http://www.textlimit.com
730 North Summit Street