If you've been driving on New Jersey roads for a significant amount of time, you've no doubt heard the phrase "Click It or Ticket" a time or two. It's been the message of the NJ Highway Patrol for quite a few campaigns now in an effort to make sure all drivers wear seatbelts.

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Apparently, now the folks over at the National Traffic Highway Safety Commission have decided to switch up the strategy. No longer are they focusing on seatbelts, but will shift their focus to distracted driving.

Seatbelt in car
Photo by Alexandria Gilliott on Unsplash

"Click It or Ticket"

This slogan was the one formerly used by law enforcement agencies and traffic safety organizations to promote seat belt usage. The slogan emphasizes the importance of wearing seat belts while driving or riding in a vehicle. It is often accompanied by enforcement campaigns where police officers increase patrols and issue tickets to drivers and passengers who are not wearing their seat belts. The goal of these campaigns is to increase seat belt compliance and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities resulting from traffic accidents.

According to NJ.com, they're doing away with that phrase and switching to one more appropriate for young drivers.

Phone in car
Photo by Mateusz Tworuszka on Unsplash

"Put the phone away or pay"

It's an agenda that some might consider overdue, but better late than never, right? Distracted driving due to cell phone usage is a huge problem on today's roadways. So, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration has declared since April is National Distracted Driving Month, there's no better time to institute the new phrase.

Phone on dashboard in car
Photo by Isaac Mehegan on Unsplash

Traffic fatality numbers are dropping

Some good news on that front is that New Jersey has been experiencing a decline in deaths due to traffic accidents over the last few years. The NTHSA hopes to continue that trend in 2024.

In New Jersey, distracted driving was listed as the contributing factor in 170 fatalities, according to a state police analysis of traffic deaths for 2022. While the new advertising campaign slogan mentions phones, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator Shulman said it applies to any distraction that takes a driver’s focus off driving, from eating to setting the navigation system to talking with other passengers and more.

Make sure you put down the phone while driving, Jersey. Not only is it dangerous, but you could be facing some hefty fines if you're caught. Be careful.

Since this month is all about distracted driving, not just about using your phone in the car, make sure you know what the cops will be looking for:

9 Activities Police in NJ Consider Distracted Driving

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month in New Jersey, part of the National Highway Transportation Safety Board's 'UDrive. UText. UPay.' campaign. But being 'distracted' is so much more than just texting while driving.

Gallery Credit: Heather DeLuca

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli