RANDOLPH,NJ- April 2014 is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Denville and Randolph Township Police Departments are announcing a combined education and enforcement campaign targeting this dangerous activity.  Through the use of media releases and messaging on electronic traffic signs, both departments hope to reduce the frequency and number of motorists who are utilizing hand-held cell phones while driving, thereby reducing the chances of traffic collisions.  

Distracted driving has become a trend with deadly, real consequences.  For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, it’s time for a crash course in reality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.  One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracting driving is cell phone usage.  Drivers who use hand held devices are four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).  Text messaging is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction- visual, manual and cognitive.  In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving.  There are too many sad tales of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else.  No one is immune from the dangers of distracted driving.  

The message is simple- “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”  Beginning April 10th, Chief Christopher Wagner of the Denville Township Police Department and Chief David Stokoe of the Randolph Township Police Department will be combining efforts to increase awareness for distracted driving. Both departments will utilize “High Visibility Enforcement” during the campaign, specifically targeting motorists who utilize hand-held cell phones while driving.  New Jersey Law provides that a motorist who utilizes a cell phone while driving shall be subject to a fine of $100.  

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Additional information for “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” is available at http://www.distraction.gov/.