“ONE TEXT OR CALL CAN WRECK IT ALL” – including your wallet! Fine $500!
From Friday, March 21 through April 6, the Newport Police Department will conduct a traffic safety campaign with a focus on distracted driving. The goal is to reduce the number of crashes by increasing public awareness. During the two-week safety campaign, Newport Police Officers will conduct four directed enforcement activities targeting distracted driving. On March 28 and 29, and April 4 and 5, patrols within Newport from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. will concentrate on distracted driving.
Many believe that distracted driving refers specifically to the use of cell phones. However, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Distractions include, but are not limited to: texting; using a cell phone or smartphone; eating and drinking; talking to passengers; grooming, reading maps; using a navigation system; watching a video; adjusting a radio; lighting a cigarette; or holding a pet on the lap.
Distracted driving poses a serious danger on our roadways. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver; an estimated 421,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
During Spring Break 2013, the Newport Police Department conducted a two-week traffic safety campaign that focused on distracted driving. During the 2013 traffic safety campaign, Newport Police Officers issued 172 traffic citations–83 of those citations were for using a handheld mobile communication device.