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U Drive, U Text: U Pay

Clarkstown police will be part of a new national anti-texting traffic enforcement campaign.  

It's part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The campaign hashtage is #justdrive and it has a Public Service Announcement that's getting a lot of attention for its intensity. 

Here's the text of the Clarkstown Police Department announcement:

This program is coordinated and funded by the NYS Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) through a Police Traffic Services Grant.

From April 10-15, 2014, law enforcement agencies across the State are cracking down on motorists who drive and text as part of the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” high-visibility enforcement campaign. 

• According to the latest data from NHTSA, nationwide in 2012, more than 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, and approximately 421,000 people were injured.
• Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. 
• Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
• According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
• According to another NHTSA study (the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey on Driver Electronics Use), at any given daylight moment in 2011, an estimated 660,000 drivers were using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
• According to NHTSA, the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers is under age 20. Of this group, 11 percent of all drivers who died in a crash were reportedly distracted at the time of the crash. 

From April 10-15, the Clarkstown Police Department will be adding extra patrols and conducting selective traffic enforcement focusing on Distracted Driving and the use of Cell Phone/Electronic Devices in violation of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225-c (Use of Mobile Phones) and Section 1225-d (Use of Electronic Devices).

The law defines the following terms as:
(a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
(b) "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.

New York prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices.

Illegal activity includes holding a portable electronic device and:
• Talking on a handheld mobile telephone
• Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
• Viewing, taking, or transmitting images
• Playing games

Exceptions to the Laws
• When the driver uses a hands-free mobile telephone, which allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand.
• Using a handheld electronic device that is affixed to a vehicle surface.
• Using a GPS device that is attached to the vehicle.
• When the purpose of the phone call is to communicate an emergency to 
a police or fire department, a hospital or physician's office, or an ambulance corps.
• When operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of 
official duties

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