WEST ORANGE, NJ - From April 1 to April 21, West Orange law enforcement officials will take part in a nation-wide crack down on motorists who text while driving. This effort is a part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay high-visibility enforcement campaign that combines intense enforcement of anti-texting laws with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.
 
The law, which became effective July 1, 2014, carries fines for a first offense between $200 and $400. Repeat offenders will pay at least a $400 fine, while third time offenders face at least a $600 fine and could have their licenses suspended for up to three months at a judge’s discretion, according to the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission. 
 
 
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed and an estimated additional 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involv¬ing distracted drivers. This represents a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of fatalities recorded in 2012. 
 
Texting, township officials remind residents, is especially dangerous, because people have to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road.