FAIRVIEW, N.J. – Forgive any Fairview police officer who suffers writer's cramp: The borough's finest wrote a staggering 694 tickets during last month's annual three-week distracted driving campaign, Police Chief Martin Kahn said.
That comes to 33 a day -- a little over seven PER HOUR.
Of those, the chief said, 409 went to motorists caught using handheld cellphones behind the wheel. There were also four DWI arrests, he said.
"With Fairview being one of the most densely populated boroughs in Bergen County, traffic safety has to be one of our highest priorities," Kahn said.
"It's scary to see the data when the national reports come out every year," he added. "If we can save one life by running these campaigns then it is worth it.
With driver inattention contributing to crashes in New Jersey at a rate nine times higher than speed, the annual statewide “UDrive. UText. UPay.” Spring campaign has continued to grow in importance.
Traffic fatalities in New Jersey rose from 562 in 2015 to 604 in 2016 -- an average of 12 deaths a week, authorities said.
Distracted driving plays an enormous role, they said, adding that teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
Of the other summonses issued by Fairview police during the campaign:
- 4 were for seatbelt violations;
- 1 was for speeding;
- 15 were for careless driving;
- 8 were for driving while suspended.
The rest were for 253 other violations, including vehicle defects.
Aggressive roving and stationary enforcement details will continue in Fairview, Kahn said.
"Let me ask you," he added. "What if stopping that one person who was issued a violation for using the cellphone was the next person who would've caused a fatality: Do you think the campaign paid off?"
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