Police in New Jersey crack down on distracted driving

Franklin to crack down on distracted driving

They're starting a campaign this month for Distracted Driving Awareness month, putting out social media videos, to get drivers to realize it can wait.

In 2017, 198 citations were issued for distracted driving in Berks, up from 55 in 2013, the first full year state law permitted police to stop motorists for suspicion of texting while driving.

However, a portion of the law also states that it does not apply to the use of hand-held technology in a vehicle when it's in use of an emergency, duties in their occupation or for navigation.

"If, on the interview, they answer their phone, that's a good sign they're going to do it while driving for you".

First-time offenders immediately have their vehicle seized for seven days, have their licence suspended for seven days and are fined $2,422.50.

"During my time as a traffic deputy, I've seen a reduction in the cell phone usage [and] citations that I've personally written", said Cpl.

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Distracted driving includes sending a text message or email behind the wheel or using headphones or earphones to listen to music while driving. From 2016 to 2017, the number of fatal crashes due to distracted drivers almost doubled.

There are different types of driver distractions, including: visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel) and cognitive (mind not on driving). Nearly half of those using the phone are using a handset, with more than a third either texting or emailing while behind the wheel. But she adds that only 41 percent admit to feeling distracted themselves while texting and driving.

April of 2018 has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council, with a goal of eliminating preventable deaths on the road.

AAA Foundation found that drivers talking on a cellphone are up to four times as likely to crash, while those who text are up to eight times as likely to be in an accident. Experts say it took drivers an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. Only one percent felt comfortable being a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who was texting.

For tips on how to drive safer, you can visit the Tennessee Highway Safety Office HERE.

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