MORRIS COUNTY — Police Officers from the Morris County Park Police Department will be cracking down on distracted drivers during April as part of New Jersey’s UDrive. UText. UPay. Enforcement Campaign.
Beginning April 1 and running through April 21, the high-visibility law enforcement initiative will target motorists who engage in dangerous distracted driving behaviors, such as talking on hand-held cellphones and sending text messages while driving. The New Jersey campaign is modeled after similar successful high-visibility enforcement programs such as Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“Distracted driving is a serious issue on our roadways,” said Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2014 alone, 3,179 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 431,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.”
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 recent survey conducted by the FDU Public Mind Poll for the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, 67% of respondents said they “very often” see people driving and talking on a hand held cell phone. Forty-two percent of respondents said they “very often” see driver’s texting.
“My Officers are encouraged to be on the look-out for these violations year-round, but we will be especially vigilant during the month of April. Drivers can consider this their warning,” said Chief Gabe DiPietro of the Morris County Park Police Department.