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Police issue 177 cellphone citations

Police traffic officers issued 177 citations to drivers using cellphones or other mobile electronic devices last week as part of the nationwide “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” enforcement focused on distracted driving.

As part of the stepped-up enforcement from April 5 to Friday, police also gave out 173 citations for seat belt violations, one for a child restraint violation and four for pickup truck restrictions involving passengers riding in the bed despite open seats in the cab.

There were 38 citations for moving violations and 28 citations for other violations.

Ten drivers were given warning citations.

“The Maui Police Department Traffic Division will continue to show a strong presence on our roadways to enforce all traffic violations,” said police traffic commander Lt. William Hankins. “The ultimate goal is to make sure those who utilize our roadways are safe. We humbly ask the public to always drive safely and help us to prevent avoidable crashes that cause injuries and death.”

The fine for driving while using a mobile electronic device is $297. A seat belt violation carries a fine of $102.

Traffic fines go to the state general fund.

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