The Grand Forks Police Department and other law enforcement agencies across the state will be on the lookout for people texting and driving during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.

"Our officers participate in the 'U Drive. U Text. U Pay.' (campaign) because we believe texting while driving is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible things a driver can do," Lt. Derik Zimmel said. "The crashes caused by distraction can be prevented if drivers would stay focused on the road."

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"U Drive. U Text. U Pay." is a national campaign fighting "the grim picture" of distracted driving statistics. Nationally, an estimated 3,179 people were killed in 2014 and an additional 431,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers, according to a news release.

Composing, reading or sending any electronic message or using a communications device to access the Internet while driving is illegal in North Dakota, even while stopped at a red light or in a construction zone. Violating the state's texting law, which went into effect in 2011, can result in a $100 fine.

Police from Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Jamestown, Minot, Valley City and Watford City also are participating in the campaign. The Burleigh County Sheriff's Department and the UND Police Department also have scheduled extra enforcement to curb texting while driving.