Chief Joseph O’Connor
219 Walden Street
P.O. Box 519
Concord, MA 01742
For Immediate Release
Friday, March 31, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Concord Police Department Participates in Statewide Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign
CONCORD — Chief Joseph O’Connor reports that the Concord Police Department will be participating in the Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign and reminds residents to remain focused while behind the wheel.
April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council. As part of the campaign, Concord Police will work to raise awareness about the importance of attentive and engaged driving, and will focus on the dangers distracted driving poses to everyone on the road, including bicyclists and pedestrians.
The effort is run through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division to address a historic rise in fatal crashes fueled by distracted driving. Nationally, in 2015, fatalities from crashes involving a distracted driver increased by 9 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Concord Police received a $2,500 grant from EOPSS to increase patrols throughout April, and officers will be on the lookout for distracted drivers.
Massachusetts law prohibits drivers from writing, sending or reading electronic messages, using apps or browsing the Internet while driving, even if stopped at a light or in traffic. Drivers under 18 are prohibited entirely from using mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving. Fines for violating this law can be as high as $500 and teen drivers can also lose their license for up to one year.
“National data shows that 10 percent of teenage drivers involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash were distracted at the time,” Chief O’Connor said. “Our goal, throughout this campaign and after, is to ensure that our roads are safe and are drivers are focused at all times.”
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.
- Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially at night.
- Remember to buckle up! Seat belts are your best defense against a distracted driver.