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Distracted driving and walking is a growing problem

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Updated: 7/09 12:07 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Apparently, Clark County residents are not getting the message.

That's what police are saying when it comes to texting, talking, driving and walking.

Cell phones were a big topic of discussion today at a traffic safety meeting. While texting and driving is a huge concern, so are pedestrians texting, especially when crossing streets.

Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie says says education is vital to safe lives.

In the past, DUI education caught on well, but he says now something needs to happen to stop the lack of attention or attempt at multi-tasking when behind the wheel. The sheriff challenged people at the meeting to see how prominent of a problem it is by only driving a few blocks.

"Just limit it to three or four blocks. I would be surprised if you don't see somebody on a cellphone; and you can't tell me that person really knows what's going on around them while they are punching in a number or they're talking on the phone," Gillespie said.

PD Kiser, with the Nevada Department of Transportation, says pedestrians texting and using their cell phones is also becoming a dangerous problem that could be the focus of more education.

"I've seen a lot of pedestrians on the street talking on the cell phone or texting and not really paying attention to what the traffic is doing; that's just as dangerous as the driver doing the same thing. The consequences are even worse, 'cause usually the pedestrians never win when they're coming in contact with a vehicle," Kiser said.

Judge Bill Pephart also addressed the committee about a new program recently introduced to text violators, called '28 Days'. For those who are brought to court, they may be able to do what this program requires for 28 days to avoid a citation. In the meantime, they would learn to kick the habit of driving and texting.

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