MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is taking this opportunity to remind motorists about the dangers of distracted driving.

Driving while distracted often leads to serious motor vehicle accidents. In 2010 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

New Jersey law bans the use of a handheld cell phone while driving. Drivers who talk or text on a handheld cell phone while driving could face a $100 fine.

All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety, Hughes said, including texting, using a cellular phone, eating and drinking, grooming, using a navigation system and adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player.

“The ubiquity of electronic devices these days means we face an interconnected world where we never have to be out of reach. However, the safety of our residents is an even more important concern,” Hughes said. “If you must talk on your cell phone while driving, please use a hands-free device. Enjoy the coming summer months responsibly!”