Local police announced plans to crack down on texting and driving.

Port Jervis Police say from April 8-13 they will take part in the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” initiative. Extra patrols funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Police Traffic Services Grant will be deployed during this expanded enforcement wave to enforce cellular telephone use and texting while driving.

Authorities say they will be using a combination of traditional and innovative ways to crackdown on motorist who text and drive.

In 2014 an estimated 3,179 people were killed and over 430,000 injured during car accidents that involved distracted drivers. According to a 2014 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among beginner drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones.

“Texting and driving requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving,” The Port Jervis Police Department said in a Facebook post. “This is a recipe for a crash, and that’s a scary thought. It’s arrogant and selfish to think that your dangerous and illegal behavior is acceptable. No one has the right to put another person’s life at risk like that.”

The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” initiative comes after the success of the “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns. Police say that tough laws, targeted advertising, and high-visibility enforcement decreases motorist’s risky driving behaviors.

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