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What is a ‘blue alert’? And why was one sent to people across North Dakota?

Results since stricter distracted driving laws were implemented in N.D.

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NORTH DAKOTA—It's always been a crime to run a red light, but just six months ago, that offense became double trouble in North Dakota.

If you're a fan of ride-hailing apps, you may recognize someone.

Greg Weick is Fargo's number one Uber Driver, navigating the city's sidestreets for several years, and during the drive he's seen a lot.

"I see more of people eating and makeup of some kind than I do on their phones," said Weick.

Six months ago, people didn't think twice about those things, but since August, North Dakota's Distracted Driving Laws expanded past phones, to include any activity "not needed to operate the vehicle."

That $20 ticket transformed into a $100 dollar citation.

"Regardless of what the fine is, I dont' think it's going to stop people from being on the phone," said Weick.

After talking to Cass County, Fargo, West Fargo and even the courts, it turns out distracted driving can be tough to get numbers on, but one thing's for sure.

"I can tell you from the legislation update of August, the numbers have definitely increased," said Sgt. Neilsen, West Fargo Police Dept.

Sgt. Neilsen says, even with stricter penalties, people stick to their habits.

"Me personally, I've seen people eating a bowl of cereal while driving down the road ways and that's what these laws are intended to discourage," said Sgt. Neilsen.

He says, if people aren't careful, looking down for even a moment can do damage.

Law enforcement told us they're hoping to get more concrete numbers by the end of the year.

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