Po­lice tar­get dis­tracted driv­ing

Crack­down aimed at cre­at­ing aware­ness

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

The Newark Po­lice De­part­ment is spend­ing this week crack­ing down on dis­tracted driv­ing.

The de­part­ment’s Traf­fic Unit and Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit is con­duct­ing en­force­ment op­er­a­tions at mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions around Newark, Lt. Fred Nel­son said.

“Sta­tis­ti­cally, the pri­mary con­tribut­ing fac­tors of col­li­sions in Newark con­tinue to be those that fre­quently re­sult from inat­ten­tion or last minute op­er­a­tor de­ci­sions re­sult­ing in a col­li­sion,” Nel­son said.

Many of the of­fi­cers are fo­cus­ing on stop­ping driv­ers who are talk­ing on a cell­phone or not wear­ing a seat­belt.

Groups of of­fi­cers set up along­side a road and watch traf­fic – often us­ing binoc­u­lars – for cell­phone or seat­belt vi­o­la­tions. When they spot an of­fender, an of­fi­cer steps out into the road to pull over the driver.

“Ad­di­tional vi­o­la­tions, such as fail­ure to obey a yield sign or var­i­ous equip­ment vi­o­la­tions are fre­quently ob­served and cited as well,” Nel­son said.

He said 48 per­cent of col­li­sions in Newark last year were caused by inat­ten­tive driv­ing, fol­low­ing too closely or fail­ure to yield.

“Vi­o­la­tions such as red lights, stop signs and speed con­tinue to be lesser preva­lent cau­sa­tions of col­li­sions by a sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin,” he said.

NEWARK POST FILE PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

Cpl. Wayne As­ton (left) runs LIDAR to catch speed­ers while Cpl. Pa­trick Craig uses binoc­u­lars to spot driv­ers us­ing cell­phones dur­ing a traf­fic en­force­ment ini­tia­tive in 2016.

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