“UDrive. UText. UPay.” That is the message from the Jefferson Township Police Department, whose officers will be cracking down on distracted drivers during April as part of New Jersey’s enforcement campaign.
From April 1 through 21, the high-visibility law enforcement initiative will target motorists who engage in dangerously distracting behaviors while driving. Detective Joseph Kratzel told The Jefferson Chronicle that such behaviors include talking on hand-held cell phones and sending text messages.
“Distracted driving is possibly the most serious safety issue on our roadways today,” said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.”
In New Jersey, driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 52 percent of the state’s crashes in 2015 – at a rate nine times higher than that of the next highest contributing factor (speed).
The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The New Jersey campaign is modeled after similar successful high-visibility enforcement programs such as “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”