NJ -- Several local police departments will take part in the national U Text, U Drive, U Pay Campaign to make roads safer and combat distracted driivng.

According to Hasbrouck Heights Police Chief Michael Colaneri, Sr., and Wood-Ridge Police Chief John Korin, both Hasbrouck Heights and Wood-Ridge Police Departments will take part in annual campaign. Wood-Ridge will also be "posting distracted driving messages on the electronic message board and enforce any violations," said Korin.

Other towns in the area participating in the campaign are Carlstadt, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, and South Hackensack.

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Local law enforcement organizations will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from April 11 to April 15, 2019, for the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay high-visibility enforcement effort. The goal of the campaign is to step up enforcement efforts to catch distracted drivers and enforce distracted-driving laws.

Distracted driving killed 3,450 people in 2016 — an increase of 8 percent since 2014. The number of fatalities may well be higher due to difficulties identifying distraction-related crashes. 

According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Safety, 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:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player