October is Traffic Safety Awareness Month
Posted: October 7, 2016
A new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on our roadways that demands immediate attention...distracted driving.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
- using a cell phone or smartphone
- eating and drinking
- talking to passengers
- reading, including maps
- using a navigation system
- watching a video
- adjusting a radio, CD or MP3 player
In 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,179 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers and an estimated additional 431,000 were injured.
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous of all distracted driving activities because it takes your hands off the wheel and eyes and mind off the road.
A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to talk on a handheld cell phone or text message while driving. The penalties associated with these infractions are as follows:
- first-time offenders face a fine of between $200 and $400
- drivers convicted of a second offense face a fine of between $400 and $600
- motorists convicted of a third/subsequent offense face a fine of $600 to $800, three points on their driving record and possible loss of license for 90 days
The Randolph Township Police Department will have increased patrols during the month and ask that residents commit to safer driving, and to encourage friends and family to do the same. One text or call could wreck it all!