Distracted Driving Month

BERNARDSVILLE POLICE INCREASE ENFORCEMENT DURING NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH

NEWS RELEASE

April 1, 2013

 BERNARDSVILLE POLICE INCREASE ENFORCEMENT DURING NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH

Chief of Police Kevin Valentine is spreading the word that April has been declared as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The National Institute of Traffic Highway Safety and the National Safety Council are spearheading national awareness regarding this initiative.

Locally, the Bernardsville Police Department will be participating along with other area Police Departments with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office distracted driving initiative during the month of April.  The countywide initiative is being conducted following the recent “Put It Down” traffic safety campaign that was conducted throughout Somerset County.

As part of the initiative, officers will be on patrol looking for violations related to distracted driving. “The goal here is to reduce the number of accidents that are caused by distracted driver activities” said Chief Valentine. Statistics released by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office indicate that 44% of all reported motor vehicle crashes in Somerset County were caused by driver inattention. Furthermore, it has been reported that 3,331 people were killed nationwide as a result of distracted driving in 2011. “We want to educate drivers about distracted driving laws in an effort to reduce the frequency of these types of violations. We will be focusing on the use of cell phones and the use other electronic devices while driving”, said the Chief. Strict enforcement of violations will be undertaken.

This enforcement campaign is different than the previous “Put It Down” program that was recently conducted throughout the County. That program was designed to create awareness and issue warnings to motorists who are using cell phones. Violators were given the opportunity to complete an educational program online in lieu of receiving a summons. In this instance, our officers are being instructed to pursue strict enforcement action against violators. “Summonses will be issued” the Chief warned.

As part of the campaign, the Police Department will be posting information on the Department website at www.bernardsvillepd.org and on the Bernardsville Borough website at www.bernardsvilleboro.org. Posters will be distributed at several locations throughout town to inform drivers about distracted driving. Additional information will be available at police headquarters. Police officers will also be distributing educational information to vehicles that are stopped along with summonses that are issued. 

For more information about this press release contact:

Chief Kevin Valentine Bernardsville Police Department, 908-766-0037

Patrolman Paul Kelley, Bernardsville Police Department, 908-766-0037

 

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