Police crack down on distracted driving with texting and driving patrols in Mahwah

Police hope to send a message about texting and driving by kicking off a monthlong campaign with patrols in Mahwah. (4/1/14)

MAHWAH - Police hope to send a message about texting and driving by kicking off a monthlong campaign with patrols in Mahwah.

Officer Eric Larson says he sees people paying more attention to their cellphones than the road every day.

Police all over the country are cracking down on distracted driving this month, as part of a new campaign called, "U Drive, U Text, U Pay."  Departments have received federal grant money for more patrols during the morning and evening rush.

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"People like to be stimulated constantly," says Lt. Scott Cherven. "So now while they're driving, they're texting, looking at the Internet, Facebook.  So we're trying to crack down because it takes away from their attention on the road."

Drivers caught using a hand-held phone will face a $100 fine for the first offense. In July, the fines will double to a minimum of $200.

Police want to remind drivers that even though hands-free devices are legal, your mind is often still on the conversation and not on the road, so they are urging drivers to pull over before taking a call. 

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