Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Driver using phone hits cop enforcing distracted-driving law

Warren Dawson | 07 April, 2017, 02:42

Passengers - Speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behaviors and offer to help with anything taking the driver's attention off the road.

During last year's Operation Hang Up campaign, State Police issued more than 18,000 tickets, including more than 2,000 tickets for distracted driving.

State law prohibits adult drivers from writing, sending or reading electronic messages, interacting with apps or browsing the internet while driving, even if stopped at a light.

"But we want to be clear".

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose, or send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or apart of traffic.

To report troublesome driving by calling #77, Porrino recommended motorists pull over, use a hands-free device or have a passenger in the vehicle make the call.

Porrino said he sees drivers distracted by their cell phones every day.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.

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"Where we can dispatch a patrol vehicle to find the person who is engaging in this unsafe behavior, we will". "Make the call hands free to initiate the call or pull over to a place that's safe to make the call", Porrino said.

"Our hope is that the letters will act as a warning and as a deterrent, letters will set forth the penalties that an individual who violates the statute will incur", he said.

Traffic deaths in New Jersey rose from 562 in 2015 to 604 in 2016, mainly because of distracted driving.

Nassau County police will also be participating in the enforcement, the department said.

"They will involve troopers in roving patrols, troopers in unmarked units and troopers in plain clothes", he said.

New Jersey is beginning a new initiative to crack down on distracted drivers.

The joint effort will run through the month of April.

Richard Hammer, the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, said the connection between the rising popularity of mobile devices and the increase in highway deaths can not be overlooked. Remind them all that a simple distraction while behind the wheel can lead to a disastrous ending, one that not only affects those directly involved in the incident, but also their family and friends.

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