Township Police Participate In Anti-Texting, Talking While Driving Crackdown

Police shieldThe township police department is one of 10 Somerset County departments to receive a $5,000 grant to aid in its participation in the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” crackdown on distracted driving.

The effort, which was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, runs through April 21. Statewide, 60 police departments received $300,000, according to a press release from the state Attorney General’s office.

The crackdown will focus on drivers who are talking or texting on hand-held cell phones, according to a release about the program. It is similar to efforts targeting drunken drivers and drivers who do not use seat belts.

Approximately $8 million in grants was awarded to police departments across the country for the campaign, which will be supported by an $8.5 million advertising program, according to the release.

New Jersey drivers who violate the state’s primary cell phone law face a $100 fine plus court costs and fees, according to the release. Those penalties will rise on July 1 to a range of $200 to $400 for a first offense and could increase to $800 in subsequent violations because of a new law signed by Gov. Chris Christie in June, 2013, the release said.

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