April is Designated "National Distracted Driver Awareness" Month
April is designated ‘National Distracted Driver Awareness Month,’ and Takoma Park Police officers will be participating and focusing their efforts on distracted driving using traffic enforcement initiatives. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving; this includes using:
- Hand-held cell phone
- Wireless devices
All distractions endanger drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Takoma Park Police officers observing the above violations, as well as any other distracted driving activity, will issue citations to the driver of the vehicle as well as educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
This effort is part of a high-visibility enforcement initiative that combines intense enforcement with further educating the public of the dangers of distracted driving. The ultimate goal is to save lives by convincing motorists to obey the law.
Drivers are reminded to remove all distractions while driving including any wireless devices. A wireless device is described as a hand-held or hands-free device used to access a wireless telephone service or to send or receive electronic messages.
- The penalty for this violation is a fine not more than $83.00 for the first offense, not more than $140.00 for a second or subsequent offense or not more than $160.00 for a third or subsequent offense.
- Three points may be assessed by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) if the violation contributes to a motor vehicle crash.
- Texting while driving carries a fine of $70 and one point, however, if the texting and driving contributes to a motor vehicle crash, the fine is $110 and three points are assessed by the MVA.
- If distracted driving causes an accident and results in the death or serious bodily injury of another person(s), there could be 12 points assessed by MVA and there is a mandatory court appearance.
Takoma Park Police will continue their efforts beyond April to focus on drivers who are distracted using hand-held cell phones, or engaging in other distracting activities while driving. Please be safe and keep your eyes on the road for your safety and the safety of others!