Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on New Jersey’s roadways. Driver inattention has been a major contributing
factor in nearly 750,000 motor vehicle crashes in the state since 2009 and nationwide, 3,328 were killed in distracted
driving crashes in 2012 alone.
To combat these troubling statistics, law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive. This effort is a part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay high-visibility enforcement (HVE) campaign that combines periods of intense anti-texting enforcement coupled with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law. U Drive. U Text. U Pay enforcement strategies include roving police patrols, spotters on highway overpasses, and stationary police vehicles prominently placed at strategic locations.
Historically, the most effective tool used to change driver behavior are targeted law enforcement campaigns, like Drive
Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket. Since their inception, these two initiatives have resulted in significant
reductions in impaired driving and gains in seat belt usage, respectively.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.