The Linden 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 the end of the month, 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2019 alone, 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving crashes on our nation’s roads and an estimated 400,000 people were injured. Driver inattention has remained the most frequently cited cause of fatal and incapacitating crashes in NJ, over seven times higher than the total crashes cited for unsafe speed over the five-year period 2015-2019. Driver inattention was a contributing circumstance in nearly 49 percent of NJ crashes in 2019.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
New Jersey is one of eight states nationally to receive dedicated federal funds this year to tackle the issue of driver distraction. This federal funding will be used for police overtime enforcement grants at the local level as well as a statewide multimedia public awareness campaign on this Important issue.