Beginning last week, 60 police departments received $5,000 each from the Division of Highway Traffic Safety to pay for increased patrols and checkpoints. The program, “U Drive. U Pay” will run through April 21 and is similar in scope to the “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs, which targeted impaired drivers and drivers who failed t o wear a seat belt.
“Distracted driving is without a doubt a major threat to everyone on or near the road in New Jersey,” acting Attorney General John Hoffman said. “Drivers should be focused on one task — driving. Texting, talking or playing games on a smart phone are an unwelcome and unsafe distraction. The dangers of driver inattention are staggering, placing drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike in harm’s way.”
The $300,000 campaign will coincide with April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Previous programs’ successes have proven that a combination of tough laws, targeted advertising and high-visibility enforcement can change people’s behaviors behind the wheel. The programs produced safer roads and driving habits and the “U Drive. U Pay” campaign is aiming for the same results.
“It is illegal in New Jersey to operate a motor vehicle while using a handheld electronic device. Currently, motorists violating New Jersey’s primary cell phone law face a $100 fine plus court costs and fees. However, on July 1, those penalties will rise to a range of $200 to $400 for a first offense and could increase to $800 in subsequent violations because of a new law signed Governor Chris Christie in June of 2013.”
If your or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, contact us for a free case appraisal today.