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#eyesUP: Catching distracted drivers

KARE 11's Alicia Lewis tagged along with the New Hope Police Department to see how many distracted drivers they could find.

NEW HOPE, Minn. - For Officer Tony Gust with the New Hope Police Department, distracted driving hits close to home - literally. Officer Gust's patrol car was struck by a distracted driver as he passed through an intersection in October.

So, Alicia Lewis decided to tag along with him to find out just how many distracted drivers are out there - and to spread the #eyesUP message.

RELATED: Video shows distracted driver striking New Hope squad

To catch distracted drivers in action, an officer from the New Hope Police Department stood at the corner of an intersection to look for drivers checking their phones, eating, or being distracted in some other way. He then called Officer Gust, who would pull those drivers over.

In the 50 minutes the undercover officer was out there, he saw about 40 distracted drivers.

The excuses ranged from watching YouTube videos to just checking their phone. Officer Gust shared his story of being hit by a distracted driver with the people he pulled over.

"I tried to connect with each person the best I could," explained Officer Gust. "Just try to show that message, not even just for me as an officer but me as a person who was involved in something from this. Listen, take it seriously now."

To sign the #eyesUP pledge, click here.