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 cell phones and sending text messages while driving. The initiative is run by the State of New Jersey, in conjunction with municipal police departments.
“Distracted driving is possibly the most serious safety issue on our roadways today, and the Bloomfield Police Department is proud to be a part of this campaign to educate the public, and to enforce the laws that keep drivers and pedestrians safe,” said Bloomfield Director of Public Safety Samuel DeMaio. “In New Jersey, driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 52 percent of the state’s crashes in 2015. Last year, our department funded and conducted a 60 day enhanced radar study to obtain more information on speeding in Bloomfield and to better enforce the speed limit. We are confident this campaign, too, will crack down on unsafe driving and protect people.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Driver inattention was listed as a contributing factor in crashes at a rate nine times higher than that of the next highest contributing factor, which is excessive speed.
The “UDrive. UText. UPay” campaign is being carried out during the month of April, which the National Safety Council has designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 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, and is organized by the State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety and the Office of the Attorney General, which produce advertisements and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and compel them to be more mindful of the dangers of distracted driving.