Law enforcement officers from the Kearny Police Department and elsewhere 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 hand-held cell phones and sending text messages while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2011-2020, some 32,000 people were killed in distracted driving-related crashes on American roads. Driver inattention has remained the most frequently cited cause of fatal and incapacitating crashes in New Jersey, contributing to 50% of the state’s crashes from 2016-2020.
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 radio, entertainment or navigation system — or, anything that takes your attention away from safe driving.
Drivers are urged to put their phones away when behind the wheel. Follow these steps for a safe driving experience:
• If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text. Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
• Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
• Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
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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.