Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the roads today. Whether you are talking, texting, eating, or fiddling with your GPS, your actions threaten your safety and everyone else on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.
The Yorktown Police Department (YPD) and the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) are teaming up with State Farm for a special Driving Safety Initiative to urge all drivers to put their phones down and pay attention to the road. The local distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through enforcement, public awareness, and education.
On May 2nd, the YPD conducted a distracted driving detail at the intersection of routes 202/35/118 in the Town of Yorktown. The enforcement detail resulted in 35 tickets during the four hour operation.
“This type of traffic detail will be a common theme throughout the spring and summer for us. Not only is distracted driving extremely dangerous, it is a 5-point violation when caught,” said Yorktown Police Chief, Robert Noble. “I am happy to say that most people observed today were not on their phones. Sad to say we did spread some paper around for those who were. The call can wait. The text can wait. One hand on the wheel and one on the phone is not safe.”
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
“On the heels of our annual Save A Life Forum where Jacy Good came to address the Yorktown community on the dangers of distracted driving, we are delighted to continue to shed the light on this dangerous trend,” said Liz Talbert, Coalition Coordinator at ASK. “When you’re driving, put your phone in your glove box or turn it off so you are not tempted to look at it. When you’re a passenger, take control of the GPS and stereo to ensure that your driver is paying full attention to the road.”
“This driving safety initiative would not be possible without the generous support of State Farm,” added Erica Stanzione, Director of Communications and Partnerships at ASK. “Enforcement and education around driving safety is one of our top priorities, especially our ‘STOP TXTING U R DRIVING’ initiative. We are thankful to State Farm for helping us spread awareness about this dangerous behavior.”
For more driving safety information, visit www.allianceforsafekids.org/by-topic/driving-safety/