Police & Fire

Authorities Warn of Risks of Distracted Driving

7019e916f4b8bc5fec5c_7982c0115486ce457e26_distracted_driving.png
7019e916f4b8bc5fec5c_7982c0115486ce457e26_distracted_driving.png

SOMERVILLE, NJ – At the halfway mark of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, North Plainfield Police Chief William Parenti, President of the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police and Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano are reminding motorists of all ages who travel the roads of the following dangers of driving while distracted.

The effects of distracted driving can range from someone simply missing an exit right up to missing a red light and causing a crash that takes the life of an innocent person. Every driver owes it to themselves and others to understand why it is so risky and dangerous to drive distracted. Distracted driving can be caused by any activity in which a driver engages, other than driving. When you begin your morning commute it doesn’t take very long before you might notice someone eating, drinking, grooming, reading or using an electronic communications device. If you are one of those drivers who engages in this type of activity it doesn’t matter what the conduct is, the effects are the same. When we are driving and we choose to multitask in some activity other than driving it can impair us in three different ways.

·         Visually; by taking our eyes off the road to look at what we are doing other than the task of driving.

Sign Up for E-News

·         Mechanically; by taking our hands off the steering wheel to pick up and look at the item or device.

·         The third way and perhaps the most significant is the impairment to our cognitive ability.

 

When we take our eyes off the road while driving we miss the things that are happening around us. Several studies show that between 4-6 seconds pass during the time that we respond to the phone alert, pick it up and look at it to see who is calling or what the message is. During that time we are driving “blindfolded”, we are still moving forward and even at a speed of 25 miles an hour we cover 183 feet in 5 seconds.

If we remove one hand from the steering wheel we drastically reduce our ability to safely control the vehicle in the event of an emergency. We also risk not safely controlling the vehicle during normal operation. A left hand on the wheel by itself with reduced attention to the roadway in front of us could cause a drift to the left into an oncoming lane and an approaching vehicle or perhaps off the road entirely striking a fixed object.  

The human brain can only focus on one task at a time. When we focus on one thing, everything else becomes secondary. If we are “simply” involved in a conversation with someone on a hands free device, we are listening to what is being said, thinking about what we just heard, formulating our reply and then saying it. During that time, the task of driving becomes secondary and hazards that present themselves might not be identified as hazards and we fail to avoid them. It is this cognitive impairment that is the most dangerous. The video, The Distracted Mind, put out by Toyota explains it very simply. To see the video go to http://www.sctddd.org/the-distracted-mind/

Try this experiment. Turn on your television to the news. Focus on a story being reported and at the same time try to listen to a conversation that is going on elsewhere in the house. You may be able to catch a piece of the news and a portion of the conversation but you will be unable to get every detail of both stories. Similarly, try reading a book or newspaper article while have a conversation with someone. Either you are not going to hear what is being said or you are going to stop reading. You can’t do both.

Studies have shown that having a hands free conversation with someone while driving slows a person’s reaction time to the equivalent of having a 0.08 % Blood Alcohol Content, the legal limit for intoxicated driving in the State of New Jersey.  Other studies have clearly demonstrated that the degree of measurable eye movements (scanning) that a driver normally does while driving is markedly diminished while that driver is actively engaged in a hands-free phone conversation. As in the other scenarios, this form of tunnel vision dangerously reduces a driver’s ability to perceive a hazard in a timely manner and react appropriately to that hazard.

Safe driving is all about making good choices.  As drivers each one of us can choose not engage in risky driving behaviors. We can decide to buckle up, not to drive impaired and when it comes to distracted driving we must find a way to minimize and/or eliminate as many distractions as possible.

Choose…not to reach for the phone when it alerts you!  If the temptation is too great, choose…to turn the phone off while you are driving. If you don’t feel comfortable turning the phone off, you can download an app on your smartphone that makes the phone safe while the vehicle is being operated. Should you need to make or answer a call or read/send a text, pull off the road and park before doing so. The few minutes it adds to your trip just might spare you a lifetime of regret.

 

For more information please visit www.distraction.gov

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

February 14, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

EarthCam Shares Live Webcam Views of Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge

February 23, 2018

If you saw our article, you know about the Polar Bear Plunge this Saturday to support the Special Olympics.  If you cannot be there, but want to see the festivities, this press release tells you how you can.

WHAT: February 24 from 9am-1pm ET, thousands of people will make a mad dash into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Seaside Heights, NJ…and ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Travels’ Pick 2 For 1 Valentine’s Day Special on Comedy and Music Tickets at the Wellmont

TAPintoTravels - We seldom post these deals last minute, but it seems to good to miss.  It’s even better that a number of great events are at the Wellmont in Montclair.

Here are our picks to take your significant other out for a night on the town:

The Muscial Box - a Genesis tribute band is performing decades worth of the band’s vast repertoire.  They ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

February 22, 2018

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Parkland Strong and Proud

February 22, 2018

I want to share some thoughts with you.

I have not been posting on social media, although I have been constantly reading your posts so that I can represent you through this sad time. What our community has been saying is inspirational and has helped me cope through these “more than” trying times.

Special thanks to my fellow Parkland, Coral Springs, Broward Commissioners and ...

Obituaries

North Plainfield – Gail A. Kaufman – Cain, 62, passed away peacefully on Saturday ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2ff71a88602c34c5bdd9_157bf5c4-d2e4-4c85-9231-84be219a13ed

Sun, February 25, 4:00 PM

North Plainfield

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the ...

Government

Carousel_image_3d7e35618f05795eb00f_omstbydesignnew_jpeg

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 2, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 9, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 16, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Carousel_image_ad6c3c447b5accf3e1a1_3ef0aae34bda175becfa_ptp_save_the_date_-_p1

Fri, March 16, 7:00 PM

The Grove, Cedar Grove

Susan G. Komen North Jersey

Giving Back Other

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Watchung Hills and North Plainfield Wrestlers Advance to NJSIAA Region 4 Semis Saturday

February 24, 2018

UNION, NJ - Seven Watchung Hills grapplers qualified to wrestle in the quarter-finals of the NJSIAA Region 4 Tournament on Friday night, and six will move on to the semi-finals Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Blake Bahna, Danny Miller, Nick Ciraulo, Jacob Stasil, Rob Saum, Vince Mattaliano, and Justin Hayward all wrestled Friday night and all but Bahna move ...

Wrestling: 11 Warriors and Three Canucks Advance to Regions, Watchung Hills Wins NJSIAA District 16

MILLBURN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Regional High School wrestling team won its first District title on Saturday and 11 Warriors placed in the top three of their weight classes to advance to regions. North Plainfield came in ninth in District 14 and three wrestlers advance to regions.

”Congratulations to Coach Smith, his staff, and all of our Warrior wrestlers on winning their first ...

Green Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung Students Compete in County Spelling Bee

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Students from more than 30 schools in Somerset County, including Green Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung, will compete in the 3rd annual Spelling Bee Spectacular sponsored by the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey.

Participation is limited to those students up to the eighth grade.

The contest, which is a preliminary to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling ...

Wellness at WHRHS: On Stress, Wellness and Integrity at Watchung Hills

WARREN, NJ - A letter was sent to all parents of Watchung Hills Regional High School students (WHRHS) on Jan.19 addressing the school’s efforts to promote student wellness and reduce student stress. The letter also encouraged parents to review the academic integrity guidelines and have conversations with their children about health, wellness, and ethical ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

Workshop Examines Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

February 22, 2018

BEDMINSTER, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership and The Center for Contemporary Art will host a “Business Builders Breakfast” and workshop focused on sexual harassment in the workplace on Tuesday, Feb. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at The Center for Contemporary Art, 2020 Burnt Mills Road.

The 90-minute event, “Sexual Harassment & Rules of the Modern ...

Watchung Appoints New Council Member

WATCHUNG, NJ - The Watchung Borough Town Council appointed Maria Alberto to fill the unexpired portion of Debra Joren’s term at the last meeting. The term expires at the end of 2018.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2ReYfGuwPE

Joren retired earlier this year and due to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was required to resign from any public office within six ...