Harrison PD participating in Udrive Utext Upay

Law enforcement officers from the area, including the Harrison Police Department, will be cracking down on distracted drivers in 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 handheld cell phones and sending text messages while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports in 2019 alone, 3,142 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes and an estimated 400,000 people were injured. Driver inattention has remained the most frequently cited cause of fatal and incapacitating crashes in New Jersey, 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% of all Jersey crashes in 2019.

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on a phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in a vehicle, fiddling with the radio, entertainment or navigation system — or anything that takes attention away from the task of safely 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.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.