NEBRASKA CITY – The Otoe County Sheriff’s Office is participating in the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Awareness Campaign April 3-9.

A Nebraska Highway Safety grant provides for extra deputies for high-visibility patrols with emphasis on use of cellular devices.

A sheriff’s office press release says drivers age 16 to 24 are distracted by devices at a higher rate than other drivers.

Nebraska law prohibits the use of a handheld wireless device to read, write, or send communication while operating a motor vehicle.

Sheriff Colin Caudill says drivers must pull over to a safe location and park to send or receive a text.

He advises leaving texting to a passenger in the vehicle and leaving the phone in the trunk of a vehicle to avoid the temptation to text and drive.

A NHTSA website says 8 percent of traffic fatalities involve distracted drivers.