Heads up, phones down.
That’s the message behind National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which kicked off April 1. Officers around the country will be on the lookout for drivers not paying attention to the road.
UCFPD officers will focus on violations such as texting while driving as a part of the campaign, which is led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves drivers taking their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and minds away from the task of driving.
Distracted driving is a non-moving violation that comes with a $114 ticket for a first-time offender. For someone who has been convicted of driving while distracted within the last five years, the penalty becomes a moving violation, which includes a $164 ticket and points on the driver’s license.
Distracted driving statistics portray a grim picture: In 2014, an estimated 3,179 people were killed—that’s 10 percent of all crash fatalities — and an additional 431,000 were injured—18 percent of all crash injuries — in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
For more information, please visit www.distraction.gov.