UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. – This month’s annual distracted driver crackdown produced the results that Upper Saddle River police hoped for, along with some other benefits.
Using stationary details and roving patrols, USR police wrote 224 tickets in three weeks (not a misprint), Police Chief Patrick Rotella said.
During the same time period, officers also arrested 13 drivers who were either under the influence or carrying drugs, the chief said.
With driver inattention contributing to crashes in New Jersey at a rate nine times higher than speed, the annual statewide “UDrive. UText. UPay.” Spring campaign has continued to grow in importance.
Traffic fatalities in New Jersey rose from 562 in 2015 to 604 in 2016 -- an average of 12 deaths a week, authorities said.
Distracted driving plays an enormous role, they said, adding that teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
“Our department is committed to continuing our enforcement of these types of violations beyond this yearly initiative,” Rotella said. “It is our hope that we can do our part in reducing the number of distracted drivers on the roadways.”
Of the summonses issued by USR police during the campaign:
- 46 were for cellphone/texting violations;
- 10 were for careless driving;
- Three were for reckless driving;
- 17 were for speeding;
- Four were for failing to use child restraint systems.
The remaining 144 were for various other violations – vehicle defects, not having license or registration or insurance, etc.
Drivers who were stopped also got educational pamphlets “explaining the dangers of distracted driving,” Rotella said.
“Education, enforcement and enhanced penalties, along with public safety announcements, are only part of the solution to reducing the number of accidents associated with distracted driving,” the chief added. “It is up to you, each and every day, to operate your vehicle safely."
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