The campaign coincides with the National Safety Council’s designation of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Seventeen Gloucester County municipal police departments and the Rowan University Police Department will share in a $66,000 state grant to fund distracted driving patrols beginning April 1 and running through April 21.
The program is part of New Jersey’s “UDrive UText UPay” enforcement campaign.
The high-visibility 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.
“Distracted driving is possibly the most serious safety issue on our roadways today,” said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.”
In New Jersey, driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 52 percent of the state’s crashes in 2015. Distraction, in fact, was listed as a contributing factor in crashes at a rate nine times higher than that of the next highest contributing factor (speed).
The state campaign coincides with the National Safety Council’s designation of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It follows similar successful enforcement programs such as “Click it or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
In addition to the Rowan PD, participating departments are: Washington, Franklin, East Greenwich, Greenwich, Harrison, Deptford, Monroe, Mantua, West Deptford, Logan, Woolwich and Elk townships, Westville, Woodbury, Woodbury Heights, Glassboro and Clayton.