Bridgewater To Crack Down On Distracted Driving

Police will be focusing on distracted drivers who talk on handheld cell phones or send text messages while driving, both of which are illegal in New Jersey. An NSC survey found that while two-thirds of drivers said another driver's distraction has caused them to feel unsafe, just 25 percent feel their own distractions have put them or someone else at risk. "It's just not worth it".

"Distracted driving kills thousands of people on our roadways every year", said Kelly Nantel, vice president, National Safety Council. These crashes are highest among younger drivers ages 16 to 34.

Police from 189 state, county and local law enforcement have received grants for extra patrols looking for drivers who are texting or talking on cell phones without a hands-free device. Text messaging is particularly risky as reaction times double when drivers read or send text messages.A driver texting at 55 miles per hour will lose sight of the road for almost five seconds, which is comparable to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.

While cell phone use is the most recognizable distraction, adjusting the radio, eating, grooming or programming a GPS system is just as risky.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG & E) are reviewing their phone use policies in an effort to reduce distracted driving incidents. Employees must pull over to a safe and legal parking spot if they want to take or make a call, check email or text.

Always give driving your full attention.

Tell friends, family and colleagues you won't respond to calls or texts when driving.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3).

  • Carolyn Briggs