Beginning today, hundreds of police departments across New Jersey will be cracking down on texting behind the wheel and other distracted driving as part of a three-week enforcement campaign.
The “high visibility law enforcement initiative” will target drivers talking on handheld cell phones and texting.
“This is clearly one of the most critical traffic safety issues that we face today,” New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Eric Heitmann said in a statement.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver,” Heitmann said.
Distracted driving fines in New Jersey range from $200 to $400 for a first offense, and can lead to a license suspension beyond a third offense.
The initiative, dubbed “UDrive. UText. UPay,” comes during Distracted Driving Awareness Month and will last April 21.