INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WSYM) - "What's so important?" That's what police are asking people they pull over for distracted driving Thursday.
The Ingham County Sheriff's office had all hands on deck for a sting operation.
FOX 47's Alani Letang rode along.
Within the first twenty minutes on the road, police were able to pull over a driver who had both thumbs on the phone.
Police hope this operation curbs what they're calling an epidemic.
"Distracted drivers during the day look just like drunk drivers at night and the consequences are just as tragic," said Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, Ingham County.
That's why the sheriff's office had teams to hunt down distracted drivers.
They have an unmarked car taking pictures as evidence, and signaling ahead to the marked cruiser to pull them over.
That's usually followed by excuses from the driver.
"And usually the excuses are very innocuous, not important at all and I think it's just habit. When someone hears that notification go off they check and if they are interested in that notification they can't wait to engage," said Wriggelsworth.
The sheriff encourages people to use hands-free devices because smartphones have paved the way for an increase in distracted driving.
"Sometimes the education is the citation, today was about educating the public," said Wriggelsworth.
Police wrote more than a dozen tickets for distracted driving during Thursday's five-hour sting.