With April coming to a close #HipNJ wanted to acknowledge the month-long law enforcement campaign against texting and driving. U Drive. U Text. U Pay is a high-visibility campaign combining intense anti-texting law enforcement with media coverage and advertising to alert people to the dangers of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic, being cited as a major factor in over 804,000 car accidents in the State of New Jersey in a four-year period from 2011-2015. Distracted driving includes driving while texting but also includes activities such as eating, grooming, navigation by mobile devices, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, etc.
New Jersey is one of only a few states to receive funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the purposes of awarding grants to local law enforcement agencies. The agencies that participate are rewarded with funds based on size and need.
With the busy and fast-paced nature of our lives, it’s easy to use driving time as “down time” but it’s important to remember to stay focused. Gary Poedubicky, acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway and Traffic Safety, says that:
“driver inattention remains the single biggest reason behind most traffic accidents…with texting and talking as the leading contributing factor”
He also mentions that the focus of the campaign was definitely enforcement. The funds allocated to over 200 police departments statewide were for enforcement overtime with written citations being the main focus.
The campaign extended through the first three weeks in April. You can ensure your safety, and that of your driving record, by putting the phone down and keeping your eyes on the road.
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