Unbelted, distracted drivers on Minnesota State Patrol's radar

Memorial Day weekend got off to a tragic and deadly start on the roads. Two people died in separate crashes in Olmsted and Hubbard Counties. This happened as the state launches extra patrols, and increases the fines for texting and driving.

"It is disheartening especially when we have extra patrols out there and then we're still having people die in crashes," said Lt. Kevin Skalsky with the Minnesota State Patrol.

Police are looking for drivers and passengers who are not buckled up.

"That person will end up flying around injuring other people inside that car so if you're inside that car put your seat belt on. If you look over and see that person doesn't have it on, it's in your best interest to make sure they have their seat belt on as well," said Skalsky.

Troopers are also watching for those who are distracted behind the wheel.

"The average text message takes four seconds to look at and if you're going 55 miles an hour you've just gone the length of two football fields without even realizing it," Skalsky said.

A total of 387 people were killed on Minnesota roads in 2013.  95 of those were caused by drunk driving, and 94 deaths were because people weren't buckled up. And that's not all, 68 of the deaths were caused by distracted driving.

Jon Cummings represents Minnesotans for Safe Driving. He lost his son at the hands of a drunk driver in 1994.

"We call these things accidents, said Cummings. "And there are very few accidents. Usually it's because somebody did something dumb. And there are innocent people who have to pay the biggest price for it."

On Friday, Cummings helped get a new public safety bill signed into law.

"[If] you're texting or you run a yellow light and you kill somebody, you could possibly be charged with a gross misdemeanor."

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