Southold and Riverhead police officers will be stepping up their patrols later this month as part of a nationwide effort to curb distracted driving.
From today, April 10, through Tuesday, April 15, officers will focus on distracted driving enforcement in observation of the National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Month. The purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving — such as texting and driving, police said.
The National Safety Council estimates more than one out of every four motor vehicle crashes involves cellphone use at the time of the crash. The departments will employ both traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on people who are texting and driving, police said.
“When you text while driving, you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off the task of driving,” said Riverhead Town highway patrol officer Dennis Cavanagh.
“That puts everyone else’s lives in danger, and no one has the right to do that.”
There are thousands of death each year nationwide linked to distracted driving, with hundreds of thousands of injuries, officials said.