Police to crack down on distracted driving

April is National Distracted Driving Month


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— Law enforcement officers from the Newton Police Department will be cracking down on distracted drivers as part of a new national distracted driving enforcement campaign.

The initiative began on April 1 and will run through April 21.

The department issued a news release which states that the high visibility law enforcement effort will target motorist who engage in dangerous distracted driving behaviors such as talking on hand-held cellphones and sending text messages while driving.

The slogan of the national campaign is UDrive. UText. UPay.

“Distracted driving is a serious issue on our roadways,” Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Gary Poedubicky said in a news release. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that each year thousands of people are killed in distracted driving related crashes and nearly a half million people are injured.”

Despite the fact that using a hand-held cellphone or texting while driving is illegal in New Jersey, the practice appears to be widespread, according to the release.

Seventy-two percent of respondents to a 2013 survey conducted by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety said they “very often” see people driving and talking on a hand-held cellphone. Forty percent of the respondents said they “very often” see driver’s texting.

The campaign is being carried out during the month of April, which is National Distracted Driving Month. The campaign is modeled after similar successful high visibility enforcement campaigns such as Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

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