Highway patrol to crack down on texting and driving this week

Texting and driving will be the focus of an increased enforcement initiative of the Kansas Highway Patrol this week.

According to a news release, beginning July 1 through July 10, the highway patrol will conduct a texting enforcement initiative. Troopers will be looking for drivers who are violating Kansas texting law and will be citing those observed in violation.

Kansas law says on a wireless devices, drivers may not manually type, send or read a written communication including, but not limited to, a text message, instant message or electronic message.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times greater than driving while not distracted. In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this reflects a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.

The Kansas Highway Patrol and local law enforcement enforce the texting law throughout the year, but this holiday period, the patrol will place a special emphasis focused on locating those texting while driving.

With the July 4th holiday, many motorists will be traveling across the nation. The patrol will be out actively looking for impaired drivers, a spokesman said. With many celebrations across the state, drivers should make sure they are designating a sober driver, the spokesman said.

The patrol also is reminding motorists to wear their seatbelts and use the correctly fitted child safety seats, as they are the best defense should you be involved in a crash, the spokesman said..
Those who are in need of assistance on a Kansas highway, may call KHP for assistance at *47 (*HP) or *582 (*KTA) for the Kansas Turnpike.

Weather settles down to cooler temperatures

National Weather Service graphic

The weather probably will settle down for most of the day, after a few days of storms and extreme humidity.

The forecast has changed in the last hour to include a 40 percent chance of storms and rain this morning. A storm is moving from the southeast toward the Kansas City area.

Cooler weather start today, and temperatures may reach a high of 84 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Wednesday’s high will be about 76.

The Canadian cool front moving into the area will result in below normal temperatures through Friday, with dry weather expected, the National Weather Service said.

The next chance for thunderstorms is expected to be Friday night through Saturday night.

Crash on 18th injures passenger

A crash at 6:27 a.m. June 30 on 18th Street southbound, just south of Steele Road, injured a passenger, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

A Ford Escape was southbound on 18th when the left wheel locked up, the driver lost control and struck the barrier wall, the trooper’s report stated. Then the vehicle crossed all lanes of traffic and struck the right rock wall, according to the report.

The passenger, a 31-year-old woman from Kansas City, Kan., was injured and taken to a hospital, the report said. The driver, a 30-year-old man from Olathe, Kan., was not injured.