DENVER (CBS4)– City leaders in Denver are urging drivers to keep their “Thumbs on the Wheel” in a campaign to reduce distracted driving.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock helped unveil a billboard along Brighton Boulevard on Thursday to encourage drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

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According to a study by Triple A, distracted driving, paying attention to cell phones, meals and passengers, etc., instead of to the road, contributes to more than 5,000 traffic-related deaths each year.

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“Today I’m also making it my job to deliver a very clear message to all of Denver and anyone traveling on our roads, we must put an end to distracted driving,” said Hancock.

A campaign against distracted driving (credit: CBS)

A campaign against distracted driving (credit: CBS)

It is illegal in the State of Colorado to text, email or surf the Internet while driving a motor vehicle even when stopped in traffic or at a red light.

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“Last year Denver Police officers issued nearly 6,900 careless driving citations, and it is our goal that we don’t write any more this year,” said Denver Police Chief Robert White in a statement. “Drivers need to remove all distractions while driving and remember that behind the wheel is not the place to multitask.”