Put down the cellphone and pay attention: that’s the message Red Bank police hope to get across to motorists as they conduct a special distracted-driving enforcement detail in April.

Dubbed “U Drive, U Text, U Pay,” the enhanced enforcement effort, funded with federal dollars, will target motorists who engage in dangerous distracted driving behaviors such as talking on handheld cellphones and sending text messages while driving, according to an RBPD announcement.

From the announcement:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2018 alone, 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving crashes on our nation’s roads and an estimated 400,000 people were injured. In New Jersey, driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 50 percent of the state’s crashes in 2018. Driver inattention was in fact listed as a contributing factor in crashes at a rate seven times higher than that of the next highest contributing factor, speed.

New Jersey is one of eight states nationally to receive dedicated federal funds this year to tackle the issue of driver distraction. This federal funding will be used for police overtime enforcement grants at the local level as well as a statewide multimedia public awareness campaign on this important issue.

(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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