Norwich police to launch distracted driving campaign

During National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, local police officers are stepping up enforcement of the ban against texting and driving.

State Farm, in their eighth annual distracted driving survey, found that 91 percent of people, reported owning a smartphone, and more than half say they use them while driving. The goal is to change motorist behaviors and save lives, not just in the month of April, but year-round.

Through the end of the month, police will be on patrol looking for distracted drivers as part of the U Drive. Any and all distractions endanger the life of you, your passengers and those who share the roads with you. That is a lot of preventable injuries and deaths.

The National Safety Council estimates that within the last year 40,000 people died in auto crashes, making this the highest rate of motor vehicle deaths in nine years. Drivers can also learn more about distracted driving at wadrivetozero.com/. "Every time drivers choose to pick up the phone rather than focus on the road, they put themselves and other roadway users in danger".

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.

Throughout April, CDOT is asking you to submit your distracted driving prevention videos to be shared publicly on CDOT's Facebook page.

Previous year in North Carolina, 177 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 26,962 were injured.

And in studies, drivers are up to four times more likely to be in a crash when talking on their phone, and 23 times more likely to crash when entering information into their phones.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 71 percent of young people admit to sending a text while driving.

Preliminary Massachusetts data shows a 13 percent increase in motor vehicle fatalities from 2015 to 2016 - more than double the national average according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Use an app that will block texts and calls while driving. There is visual which is taking your eyes off the road, manual which is taking your hands off of the steering wheel, and cognitive which is thinking about something other than the task of driving.

CHP will be enforcing zero tolerance efforts to discourage distracted drivers.

Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone or hands free devices while operating a vehicle. "Beginning April 4th, you will see stepped-up law enforcement efforts".

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