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Scottsbluff Police Department participating in selective enforcement to reduce texting while driving

Scottsbluff Police Department participating in selective enforcement to reduce texting while driving

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Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads.

Scottsbluff Police Department is encouraging drivers to put down the phone and remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Scottsbluff Police Department will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from Oct. 8-12 for the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement effort, according to a press release. The goal of the campaign is to step up enforcement efforts to catch distracted, texting drivers and enforce distracted-driving laws.

According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2018, nearly 23,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. There were 2,841 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018. 

 According to NHTSA statistics, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have also been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers have since 2007, making them the the worst texting-while-driving offenders, using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. In 2018, 8 percent of people killed in crashes involved teens, ages 15-19, who were distracted at the time of the crash.

Beginning Oct.  8, the community will see increased law enforcement efforts, as officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is caught texting and driving. If you text and drive, you will pay.

Violating Nebraska’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. Operators of motor vehicles found to be in violation of this statute shall have points assessed to their license as well as a fine of $200 for the first offense, $300 for second offense and $500 for a third and subsequent offense.

Many drivers are guilty of a “double standard” when it comes to distracted driving. In its 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, the AAA Foundation reported that while nearly 96 percent of  drivers believed it was very or extremely dangerous to read a text or email while driving, 4 out of 10 drivers admitted to doing so within the previous 30 days.

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