Mark Murray, City Marshal
4 Green St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 8, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newburyport Police Participate in Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign
NEWBURYPORT — City Marshal Mark Murray announces that the Newburyport Police Department is participating in the Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign this month to urge operators to stay focused while behind the wheel.
As part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, police will work to educate the community about the dangers of driving while texting, dialing or reading information on a handheld device. The effort is run through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division. More than 200 police departments in Massachusetts are set to partake in the campaign.
From April 8-29, Newburyport Police will increase patrols throughout the city and be on the lookout for distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 10 percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
State law prohibits drivers from writing, sending, or reading electronic messages, using apps, and browsing the Internet while driving, stopped at a light, or in traffic. Operators under 18 are banned entirely from being on mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving. Those who are cited can pay up to a $500 fine and teenagers can also lose their license for up to a year.
“We want drivers to remember to keep their eyes on the road and off their cell phones while behind the wheel,” Marshal Murray said. “We will be out on the road specifically looking for operators who appear distracted and will be issuing citations and tickets to those who are found to be breaking the law.”
The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division recommends that motorists:
- Turn your phone off and put it where you can’t reach it before driving.
- Let your friends and family know that you’ll be driving and can’t take their call/text.
- Pull over to a safe place if you have to make a call or send a text.
- Start GPS navigation or review maps before you start driving.
- Remember to buckle up! Seat belts are your best defense against a distracted driver.