SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Police agencies across the state will soon be out in full force looking for people behind the wheel not paying attention.

Officers have announced they’ll be in unmarked cars looking for anyone not paying attention. This includes anyone texting, changing the radio station, looking at GPS — anything that would take a driver’s eyes off the road even for a second.

Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) will be looking for these distracted drivers in multiple counties. Over 100 additional shifts have been added that will be focused on distracted driving enforcement.

“Probably the most substantial statistic in 2021 is that there were 12 deaths caused by distracted drivers,” said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Joseph Neighbor.

UHP said they will be citing distracted drivers, but also educating them.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month and police agencies all across the state are cautioning drivers on the dangers of not paying attention at the wheel.

On Tuesday, one Utah mother shared her emotional loss from distracted driving.

Kristina Morris told ABC4 that she continues to share stories of her daughter BaiLee DiBernardo, who died six years ago after being hit by two cars driven by distracted drivers.

According to police, 17-year-old DiBernardo and a classmate were on their way to school when the tragedy struck.

While the two students were using a crosswalk on Fort Lane near Layton High School, both were hit by a pickup truck, throwing BaiLee’s body down the street.

At some point, a second car ran over BaiLee, dragging her even further down the road.

BaiLee succumbed to her injuries, while her classmate survived. It’s a day Kristina Morris said she will never forget.

On March 27. the St. George Police Department posted on their Facebook page an example of distracted driving. In the video, it shows a driver not watching the road ahead of them. Even with emergency lights activated, they almost hit the patrol car. Luckily, the car or the driver, stopped the vehicle before it rear-ended the patrol car.

UHP says many things can cause distracted driving, such as eating, talking to the passengers next to you, changing the radio – and one of the biggest ones, texting. When it comes to driving, experts say don’t try to multitask – keep your eyes on the road at all times.