CBPD release – NHTSA and CBPD Remind Drivers: Put the Phone Away or Pay – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)and the Coos Bay Police Department (CBPD) are launching a national high-visibility enforcement effort throughout the month of April, to deter distracted driving. Law enforcement officers nationwide will work together to enforce texting and distracted-driving laws and remind drivers: Put the Phone Away or Pay. This effort comes during April, which is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to NHTSA, in 2022 there were 3,308 people killed and an estimated additional 289,310 people injured in traffic crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads, and most of this distraction can be attributed to cell phone use,” said Coos Bay Police Captain Lindahl “People know using their phone while driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and put themselves and others at risk. Drivers 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,” he said. Violating Oregon’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. Oregon law (ORS 811.507) can cost violators up to a maximum fine of $1000 for their first offense and jail time on their third offense. Drive Safe Every Trip – NHTSA & CBPD urges drivers to put their phones away when behind the wheel. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe drive: If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages. Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, silence notifications, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination. Cell phone use while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: Put the Phone Away or Pay. For more information, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving.

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