Screenshot of texting Massachusetts driver via WWLP.

Screenshot of texting Massachusetts driver via WWLP.

Massachusetts police officers issued over 6,300 citations for texting while driving in 2017. Despite the fact that it is illegal to text and drive in Massachusetts — and carries a minimum penalty of $100 and as high as $500 — drivers appear to be undeterred by the law, reports WWLP.

The reporters went on a sting with police in Western Massachusetts to suss out drivers that engaged in distracted driving behavior. In under one hour, policed stopped a dozen drivers for texting behind the wheel and issued six citations.

In addition, the officers and reporters spotted drivers grooming as well as taking photos — all while operating a moving vehicle.

Distracted driving remains a huge problem in the state, according to the report. Police point out that it is not only the cause of crashes but road rage as well because distracted drivers text at red lights and then fail to be aware of when the signal turns green.

In fact, drivers traveling at 55 mph can cover the length of a football field by taking their eyes off the road for just five seconds to either type or read a text, according to the report.

Everyday, nine people lose their lives and approximately 1,000 more are injured in motor vehicle collisions that involve distracted driving.

View WWLP's full report here.

Related: Maryland Bill Pushes Stiffer Penalties for Texting-While-Driving

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