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Prosecutor Dan Murrie has a simple request for all Daviess County Citizens: Please put your phone down while you are driving.

Starting on July 1, most of the bills that were enacted earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly will officially become law. Perhaps the law with the biggest impact on the day to day life of Hoosiers is the Hands Free Driving law. Starting on July 1, it will be illegal to operate or hold an electronic device while you are driving in a vehicle. This includes texting, making a phone call, searching for directions, checking your fantasy football lineup and anything else you can do with a phone.

Distracted driving is a huge problem in Indiana. Even a brief glimpse away from the road can be enough to cause a crash. Starting July 1, if a police officer sees you on your phone while driving, for any reason, you could be subject to a stop and a ticket.

Although the preference would be that phones be placed in do-not-disturb mode while driving, there are plenty of hand-free options available. Many cars now come with the ability to connect with your phone via Bluetooth or a cable for hands-free navigation and phone calls. There are also many different clips and holders that can be used to mount your phone inside your car.

The hope behind this new law is to save lives and reduce crashes. Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter has repeatedly said that law enforcement will not be looking to write hundreds of tickets for this new infraction. Which is the reason for this reminder on the new law. It is our job to keep people safe and I hope people will take this to heart and simply put the phone down when behind the wheel.

As always, our goal is to make Daviess County a better place to live and raise a family. Please put your phone down while driving—you could save a life.

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