Amherst police to patrol for distracted drivers

Justin Greene
April 7, 2017

The initiative will target motorists who engage in risky distracted driving behaviors such as talking on hand-held cell phones and sending text messages while driving.

Distracted driving is any activity, such as grooming, eating, or the most common diversion - texting - that takes a driver's attention off the road.

Therefore, 375th Security Forces Squadron is actively patrolling the streets to combat distracted driving with proactive traffic and distracted driving enforcement.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose, or send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or apart of traffic.

Passengers can do a lot to help reduce the risk of distracted driving, too. But this month brings more incentive - if common sense isn't enough - to keep hands on the steering wheel and off the phone while driving.

"Distracted driving is a serious issue on our roadways", said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers in 2015. New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino said, "Starting today a distracted driver needs to be concerned about the person in the next lane". "Make the call hands free to initiate the call or pull over to a place that's safe to make the call", Porrino said. Not only is texting while driving unwise, it's also against the law in Oklahoma.

The Milford Police Department is partnering with the Connecticut Highway Safety Office as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to crack down on drivers who ignore Connecticut's mobile phone laws.

Teens were the group most likely to be involved in distracted driving crashes.

According to the division website, distracted driving "is a unsafe epidemic" on state highways, responsible for more than 817,000 motor vehicle accidents between 2010 and 2014.

Michigan's texting law, too, allows an officer to make the stop and write a ticket without having to witness some other violation.

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