THAT TEXT OR CALL CAN WAIT:
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Police & Safety Advocates Urge Drivers to “Park the Phone Before You Drive”
Frederick, MD – Every year, more than 27,000 people are injured on Maryland’s roads because of distracted driving, and driver distraction is a factor in 185 traffic deaths. Anything that takes your eyes and your focus off the road is dangerous.
“Using cell phones or other electronic devices, tending to children, shaving,putting on makeup, and reading are all potentially deadly distractions,” stated OFC. L. Sinay with the Frederick Police Department. “Too many drivers ignore their responsibilities behind the wheel. That is why we’re teaming with the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office to remind motorists to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.”
Cell phone use, or using other devices like e-readers, is especially distracting. A typical text takes five seconds to write and send. In five seconds, a car traveling at 55 mph will travel the length of a football field. With your attention away from the road, it’s like driving that distance while blindfolded.
“Texting or using your phone while driving is extremely dangerous. You’re up to 23 times more likely to crash, putting lives in jeopardy,” said OFC. L. Sinay “Law enforcement officers are out stopping and ticketing drivers breaking our handheld cell phone laws. Phone in one hand? You’ll have a ticket in the other.”
“Distracted Driving takes a person’s attention away from the road, and every driver in Frederick City has a role in keeping our roadways safe. The Frederick Police Department especially wants to reach out to parents of teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under 20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes”, Chief Ed Hargis.
Drivers can be ticketed for writing, sending or reading a text or electronic message while driving. The fine is $70 and one point on your license and may increase to $110 and three points if use of the device contributes to a crash. Fines for using a handheld cell phone are $83 for the first offense, $140 for the second offense and $160 for the third offense. Any driver who causes serious injury or death while using a handheld cell phone or texting may receive a prison sentence of up to 3 years and a fine of up to $5,000.
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For more information contact OFC. L. Sinay at 301-600-7508/ firstname.lastname@example.org