Home Text messaging ” You drive. U Text. The “U Pay” week has...

” You drive. U Text. The “U Pay” week has arrived. – KCSR/KBPY

7
0

This week it’s the national “U Drive.” U Text. U Pay” high-visibility enforcement effort with law enforcement officers across the country working together to enforce laws prohibiting texting while driving as well as distracted driving.

The Chadron Gendarmerie is one of the participating agencies. Sgt Patrick Young said the department receives a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Neb Department of Transportation’s Office of Highway Safety.

Sgt Young says distracted driving has become a leading cause of road accidents, with texting while driving being the bulk of it.

Federal data shows that 26,004 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012 and 2019. Fatalities related to driver distraction rose 10% in 2019, the largest increase among causes that year.

Young says people know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but often give themselves a “personal exemption” to do it anyway, which unfairly puts others at risk – adding that this week, those who text and drive will pay.

Millennials and Gen Z are the most common distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text and browse social media while driving.

According to 2019 Traffic Safety Administration figures, 9% of people killed in crashes with teenage drivers died in crashes when those drivers were distracted.

Violating Nebraska’s distracted driving laws can be costly. There is a fine of $200-500 for using a portable communication device while driving and 3 points are added to your driving record.

Drive safely on every trip

Sergeant Young and NHTSA are urging drivers to put their phones away while driving. If you need to text, pull over and don’t drive while doing it. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe driving experience:

• If you are expecting a text or need to send one, stop and park your car in a safe place. Once you’re safely off the road and parked, you can safely text.

• Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter”. Allow them to access your phone to answer calls or messages.

• Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

• Cell phone use is addictive. Having trouble not texting and driving? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature or place your phone in the trunk, glove compartment or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. You pay. For more information, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving.