Provo streets flooded by police to monitor texting while driving

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PROVO — Provo streets were flooded on the Wednesday afternoon when Provo police curbed on people involved in texting while driving.

During the drive the Provo Police officers gave out four citations and three warnings in just two hours. The case of a distracted driver hit and killed a woman in a crosswalk in Provo lead to the awareness drive. Officers tried to rise awareness that looking down, even for a moment, can result in someone’s death.

Rosa Merino, 42, was crossing University Avenue near 700 North in a crosswalk when  she was hit by a 1987 GMC pickup truck and killed on Wednesday morning, Provo Police Lt.  Mathew Siufanua said.

Officer Mike Luthy while traversing the streets of Provo pulled over a woman who appeared to be texting. She told Luthy that she was just changing the song on her iPhone.

“It looks like you were texting, but you were still manipulating a handheld device and you can’t do that,” Luthy said.

Luthy trailed another driver who appeared to be texting while driving for nearly three blocks on University Avenue. Utah law states that, texting, responding to an email, visiting social media or even changing the song on your phone, all these actions are against the law.

“There is one goal and it is to teach people to drive safely,” said Lt. Mathew Siufanua.

Though conversing on the phone isn’t illegal, the police still cautioned everyone to keep their focus on the road — not on their phone conversation.

“If you hurt and kill somebody, there are still penalties,” Siufanua said. “I mean the consequences can be grave for you and the individuals you might hurt.”