Yorktown Heights, NY – Every 15 minutes in America, someone dies in a traffic accident, according to the AAA Foundation. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed as the result of a distracted driver. Fatalities include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and every other kind of road user.
In an effort to keep our local roadways safe, the Yorktown Police Department (YPD) and the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) have teamed up 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 September 22, the YPD conducted a checkpoint at the intersection of Route 202/35/118 in Yorktown Heights, NY. The 3.5-hour operation resulted in 41 tickets – 36 of which were tickets for cell-phone use.
“We had four officers in the center of town just pulling people over.” said Yorktown Police Chief, Robert Noble. “We are trying to remind people, hands-free when you are driving with a special emphasis when you have your kids in the car, they repeat this observed behavior. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and we will continue to be present and enforce the laws in order to ensure the safety of our roads.”
“When driving at 55mph, you can blindly travel the entire length of a football field just by taking your eyes off the road for a mere 5 seconds,” 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 YPD for their continued enforcement to help us eliminate this dangerous activity.”
Noble added, “If I had the ability to assign more officers today, the amount of tickets issued would have easily increased. We need to change this behavior, as it is unsafe for everyone on the road.”
For more driving safety information, visit www.allianceforsafekids.org/by-topic/driving-safety/