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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted: March 19, 2014

In recognition of April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Randolph and Denville Township police departments are announcing a combined education and enforcement campaign targeting this dangerous activity.

The message is simple—“U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” Beginning April 10, 2014, Chief David Stokoe of the Randolph Township Police Department and Chief Christopher Wagner of the Denville Township Police Department will be combining efforts to increase awareness for distracted driving. Both departments will utilize “high visibility enforcement” during the campaign, specifically targeting motorists who utilize handheld cell phones while driving. New Jersey law provides that a motorist who utilizes a cell phone while driving shall be subject to a fine of $100.

Distracted driving has become a trend with deadly, real consequences. For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, it’s time for a crash course in reality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)—in 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.

One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracting driving is cell phone usage. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash.

Text messaging is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction—visual, manual and cognitive. In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving. There are too many sad tales of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else. No one is immune from the dangers of distracted driving.

Learn more at www.distraction.gov.