Hopewell Township police officers will be on the lookout for drivers who are not paying attention as part of the annual “UDrive UText UPay” distracted drivers campaign, which began April 1 and ends April 21.

The campaign is carried out in April, which has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council.

In New Jersey, driver inattention was a contributing factor in 52 percent of the state’s accidents in 2015. It was listed as a contributing factor in accidents at a rate of nine times higher than the next highest contributing factor, which is speed.

Hopewell Township police officers will be cracking down on drivers who are talking on hand-held cell phones and sending text messages while they are behind the wheel.

“The Hopewell Township Police Department takes the issue of distracted driving very seriously, and our officers will be out actively looking for violations during this year’s campaign,” said Police Chief Lance Maloney.

During last year’s UDrive UText UPay campaign, Hopewell Township police officers issued 15 summonses for cell phone violations in Hopewell Township, but none in Hopewell Borough, for which it also has law enforcement duties.

The officers also issued summonses for an assortment of other violations during the April 2018 campaign, Chief Maloney said.

In Hopewell Township, officers issued 39 summonses for moving violations, such as improper passing and red light violations, and 31 summonses for speeding.

The officers also issued three seat belt violation summonses, one summons for driving while intoxicated, and 117 summonses for non-moving violations, such as failure to display credentials and equipment violations.

In Hopewell Borough, the officers issued four summonses for speeding, 29 summonses for non-moving violations and two summonses apiece for moving violations and seat belt violations.

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