LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas drivers who continue to text and drive can expect a traffic ticket in October.

The Arkansas State Police is working with other agencies across the state for a U Text. U Drive. U Pay. campaign from Oct. 16 to Oct. 23, intensifying patrols to find drivers violating the state’s texting while driving law.

Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand-held cell phone for texting, typing, emailing or accessing the internet while driving. As a primary offense, a driver can be stopped for violating this law without any other violations.

ASP officials said this enforcement period is a good time for parents to discuss the dangers of cell phone use while driving with their children, as well as setting a good example with their driving habits.

“Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic crashes on our nation’s roads, and most of this distraction is attributed to texting while driving,” Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Col. Mike Hagar said.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows 32,657 people died in distraction-related crashes over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021, the majority being 15 to 34 years old.

Fines for cell phone use while driving in Arkansas are $250 for the first offense and up to $500 for any subsequent offense.