BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Bella Vista police officers will be paying special attention to those not paying any attention while driving to reduce dangerous distracted driving on the roadways in the city.

According to a press release, officers will be joining agencies across the state for the enhanced distracted driving patrol from October 16 through October 23.

Distracted driving doesn’t just mean texting while driving. Other distractions can and do lead to deadly crashes and include things like talking on the phone, changing radio stations, eating or checking social media. The goal is to be sure that drivers arrive at their destinations safely.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2012 and 2019, over 26,000 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers. In 2019, there were 566 non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists and others) killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.

In Arkansas, the use of a hand-held cell phone for texting, typing, emailing or accessing the internet while at the wheel is against the law, regardless of the driver’s age. This is a primary offense, which means any law enforcement officer can pull you over for observing this violation.

The use of a handheld phone for any means, even talking, is against the law for drivers under the age of 18. If you have any questions about this enforcement, call the Police Department at 479-855-3771.