The Calhoun Police Department in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is handing out tickets to drivers who violate Georgia’s Hands Free law during April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Calhoun’s officers are participating in a nationwide effort with one goal — to make sure you and your passengers get to your destination safely.

“We don’t want them paying attention to what’s going on inside their vehicle whether it’s kids, radio, cellphone, whatever — any distractions in the vehicle. We don’t want them to be worried about the distractions in the vehicle,” said Calhoun Police Chief Tony Pyle.

The Georgia Department of Transportation reports the number of distracted driving crashes in the state has risen more than 400 percent in the last decade.

“One of the things we want citizens to realize is when you’re driving, you’re not only taking your life in your hand, but lives of other citizens as well,” said Pyle. “It goes along with ‘don’t drink and drive.’ We take distraction very seriously. We want citizens to be aware of what’s going on around them.”

So put down those devices and arrive alive.