New Jersey Police Launch U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay Campaign - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

New Jersey Police Launch U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay Campaign

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60 communities throughout New Jersey, including many in South Jersey will be cracking down on the use of hand-held phones by drivers with the recently launched U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay campaign.

Studies have shown that distracted drivers like those talking and texting on their phones make the roads more dangerous for all of us.

Based on what we saw, driving around Cherry Hill, you'd never know there was a state law prohibiting the use of hand-held phones while driving.

When we asked a motorist how often he sees people on their phones while driving, the answer was shocking.

"Every day. I drive a taxi/limo and every day we see it," the motorist said. 

We also asked him what the weirdest thing he's seen as far as a distracted driver.

"No offense to the females, but doing their fingers! They're doing their nails! And texting," he said, "That's a no-no."

He also explained that he sees people driving, texting, and talking on the phone while on the road.

When asked if this occurs on a regular basis. He says he sees it two or three times a day, and it scares him.

And it should.

Did you know?

A driver doing 50-miles per hour while looking at his phone for just two seconds will travel nearly half the length of the Lincoln Financial Field., without looking where he's going.

Cherry Hill police say it's our "now, now, now!" culture.

"When you send an email or a text, people want an immediate response. And that's what people are about at this point be it business or personal. That 'ding' goes off on the phone and you want to see who's calling you or who's texting you. And the habit at this point is that's what you're looking for and respond to it," Cherry Hill Police Officer Jim Philbin said.

The goal of the crackdown is education and enforcement: Make sure people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, and fine those of us who haven't yet gotten the message.

Police will use marked and unmarked cars to patrol.

We asked a motorist if she text and drives, and this was the surprising response we got.

"Yes, I shouldn't, and I tell my daughter always don't. But, you know, sometimes you need to respond," she said.

We see a lot of that: I know it's wrong, but I talk or text safely while driving.

Don't believe it.

The studies have shown that several thousand people die each year, in crashes where driver distraction was a factor.

With this new program, there will be a $100 fine for the first offense.

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