2019-04-10 / Front Page

Police Target Distracted Drivers April 11 - 15

U Drive, U Text, U Pay

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with other law enforcement agencies for a high-visibility enforcement detail from April 11 - 15. During that time, police will intensify efforts to stop texting and other forms of distracted driving by issuing citations for distraction violations. The campaign, U Drive. U Text. U Pay., aims to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving.

According to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012-17. In 2017 there were 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. That means that nearly one-tenth of all fatal crashes that year were reported as distraction-affected. While distracted driving is generally associated with texting or talking on the cell phone, it can take many other forms: adjusting the GPS, applying makeup, eating, or even talking with other passengers.  

If a driver’s attention is anywhere other than the road, it’s distracted driving and dangerous.

When motorists text and drive, they become a danger to everyone on the road.

According to a press release issued by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, millenials are the biggest texting-while-driving offenders, using cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. According to NHTSA, drivers aged 16- to 24-years-old are observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers. In 2017, 8-percent of people killed in teen (ages 15-19) driving crashes died when the teen drivers were distracted at the times of the crashes. Female drivers are most at-risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.

Follow these safe-driving steps:

    •    If expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park in a safe location. Once safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.

    •    Designate a passenger as “designated texter.” Allow them to access the driver’s phone to respond to calls or messages.

    •    Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

    •    Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle while driving. 

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. 

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