April 8 2019

Burlington Police Receive Grant to Crack Down on Distracted Drivers


Police are telling drivers to keep your eyes on the road and off of your phones while driving.


Chief Michael Kent reports that the Burlington Police Department is participating in a statewide Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign, and is reminding residents to remain focused and vigilant behind the wheel.


April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council, a release from the Burlington Police Department says. As part of the campaign, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) has awarded the Burlington Police Department a grant of roughly $1,000 to increase patrols throughout April, and officers will be on the lookout for distracted drivers.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately nine people are killed daily in motor vehicle crashes that involve a distracted driver, and approximately 1,000 are injured.


Massachusetts law prohibits drivers from writing, sending or reading electronic messages, using apps or browsing the Internet while driving, even if stopped at a light or in traffic, the release states. Drivers under 18 are prohibited entirely from using mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving. Fines for violating this law can be as high as $500 and teen drivers can also lose their license for up to one year.


“Distracted driving is a critical public safety concern, and the Burlington Police Department urges residents to be responsible on the road, and pay attention,” Chief Kent said. “Put your phone away and always have one hand on the wheel. It only takes a momentary distraction to cause an accident that could take a life.”


The EOPSS Highway Safety Division recommends that motorists:


- Turn your phone off and put it where you can’t reach it before driving.

- Let your friends and family know that you’ll be driving and can’t take their call/text.

- Pull over to a safe place if you have to make a call or send a text.

- Do not text and drive, browse the internet or read email while driving. It is illegal in Massachusetts and dangerous.

- Start GPS navigation or review maps before you start driving.

- Secure pets properly before driving so that they do not become a distraction.

- Avoid drinking, eating, smoking, or any other potentially distracting activities while driving.

In 2017 when the program to crackdown on distracted driving was launched, BNEWS did a video story on the action. You can watch that here.


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