EAST ORANGE, NJ - Officers from the East Orange Police Department will be cracking down on distracted drivers this month as part of a new national distracted driving enforcement campaign, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and beginning today, April 1, and running through April 21, the high visibility public safety initiative will target motorists who engage in dangerous distracted driving behaviors such as talking on hand-held cell phones and sending text messages while behind the wheel.

“Before you send that text, ask yourself if it’s really worth it,” said Chief William C. Robinson. “All it takes is a split second of looking away from the road to get into an accident. We want to encourage responsible habits behind the wheel, so that our roads are as safe as can be.”

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Despite the fact that using a hand held cell phone or texting while driving is illegal in New Jersey, the practice appears to be widespread. In a 2103 survey conducted by the FDU PublicMind Poll for the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, 72% of the respondents said they “very often” see people driving and talking on a hand-held cell phone. 40% of respondents said they “very often” see drivers texting.

The campaign is modeled after similar successful high visibility enforcement campaigns that East Orange Police have also participated in, such as Click it or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.