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Police looking to stop distracted drivers throughout April

April is almost here, and with it comes a new 21-day campaign called, "UDrive. UText. UPay." This campaign, with the help of local officers, intends to enforce distracted driving laws to reduce the risks to drivers on the roads.

Actions the police will be looking for include talking on a cellphone, putting on makeup, eating behind the wheel, playing on your phone or texting, among others. The primary focus is on cellphone use, but anything that is considered a distraction could get you pulled over and fined.

There are 12 police departments in Sussex County that will participate in 2018's campaign. Following the campaign, the results will be filed with the Division of Highway and Traffic Safety.

Just a few years ago, in 2015, 3,477 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the country. It's one of the most common causes of accidents, and it's one of the most preventable. April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, gives police a chance to further enforce distracted driving laws and help save lives now and in the future. During the month, there will be additional patrols to help catch more people who aren't paying attention to the roads. In 2017, the same campaign resulted in 15,292 summonses for texting or using a cellphone and another 7,003 for driving carelessly statewide. In Sussex County, 1,216 summonses went out to local drivers.

Avoiding traffic violations is possible if you make sure not to drive distracted behind the wheel. With additional enforcement, now is the time to focus when you're driving.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Police to target distracted drivers in April campaign," Lori Comstock, March 29, 2018

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