Speeding? On Your Phone While Driving? You’re in big trouble in Monmouth County
Your need for speed will be best spent on a high school or college track, because if it's on the roads or you've got the phone to the ear while driving, you will now be more likely to get a ticket on Monmouth County roads, as more eyes will be watching than ever before.
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office has received two grants, in the amount of $20,000 each, from the New Jersey Office of Highway Traffic Safety as law enforcement will be out more often looking for signs you're driving distracted in a new campaign that begins Monday February 1 and goes through September 30, 2021.
"The goal is to reduce speeding in our communities as well as distracted driving," Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden tells Townsquare Media Jersey Shore News.
As more of you are out and about from now thru the summer, with vaccinations slowly but surely happening, that means more cars on the roads and more eyes keeping an eye on your ability to drive safely and legally.
"Please slow down, put your devices down...it's not worth it," Golden said. "We have a lot of traffic collisions, most of them now from distracted driving devices and speeding and that's where a lot of our traffic collisions around the county and around the state of New Jersey come from along with driving under the influence."
The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety says that nationwide, the number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased from 3,450 in 2016 to 3,166 in 2017.
In New Jersey, driver inattention has been a major contributing cause in nearly 800,000 motor vehicle crashes from 2012 to 2016.
The Traffic Safety patrols will be added on days spread out throughout the year, especially on typically large traveling days during busy traveling seasons.
"The grant money affords the law enforcement executives to have that targeted enforcement in area that they identify as high traffic collision areas and high speeding areas," Golden said.
You're certainly familiar with one of the major roads that could be a focus in this traffic safety campaign.
"Route 18 for us has been a corridor that we are and will remain focused on with the speed limits and with a lot more trucks that we see on the road," Golden said. "We have seen speeds increase there and we've had some accidents. When we see the speeds go up or distracted drivers on highways such as Route 18, generally lead to overturned vehicles with ejections. We had a couple on the Route 9 corridor as well along the holidays. We'll continue to look at where those high traffic collision areas are and where those high speed corridors are and that's where the deployment of the grant money and the resources will go toward having those extra patrol officers out there."
Super Bowl Sunday February 7, with or without restrictions in place, where people will still be driving and it could just be one of those days with extra police cars on the road looking for signs of distracted driving.
"Any time that we have a holiday such as New Year's Eve, the Super Bowl, July 4th, St. Patrick's Day...that's generally when the grant money will be deployed so that that extra patrol is out there looking for distracted drivers, those driving under the influence and people driving at excessive speeds," Golden said.
The campaign isn't just about enforcement, although that is a major part of it, but also educating drivers on the rules of the road so everyone can be safe getting to where they need to go.
"Maintain a hands free environment inside the car, use your bluetooth when you're using your cell phone or car playing devices...and slow down," Golden said.
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