Put your phone away

Police focusing on nabbing distracted drivers throughout March

While you should never use your cellphone while driving, avoiding the dangerous activity is doubly important for the month of March.

SGI has designated distracted driving as the traffic safety spotlight for this month.

Police will be on the lookout for drivers using their cellphones while behind the wheel, whether making calls, texting or posting to social media.

They’ll also be looking for drivers whose attention is preoccupied by tasks such as putting on makeup or programming a GPS.

According to a news release sent out by SGI, in 2015 there were about 5,700 collisions due to distracted driving, where 802 were injured and 36 killed.

Distracted driving regulations were strengthened on Jan. 1. The new regulations prohibit drivers from using, viewing, holding or manipulating phones while driving.

Experienced drivers may use hands-free devices behind the wheel if they are activated with voice commands or one-touch. Drivers in the graduated licensing program can’t use phones at all – not even hands free.

For more on this story, please see the March 4 edition of the Daily Herald.

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