HSPD joins in law enforcement effort to deter distracted driving

From staff reports

Hot Springs police have joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's high-visibility enforcement effort to deter distracted driving across the country through April 8.

Officers will work together to enforce texting and distracted-driving laws and remind drivers to "Pay Attention or Pay the Price: Put the Phone Away or Pay," the theme of the campaign which comes during April, which is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a news release said.

Drivers, "consistently among the millennial age group," have become the "worst distracted drivers" using their cellphones to talk, text and scroll through social media, the release said. According to NHTSA, in 2021 there were 3,522 people killed and an estimated 362,415 people injured in traffic crashes involving distracted drivers.

"Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle crashes on our nation's roads, and most of this distraction can be attributed to cellphone use," HSPD Officer 1st Class Omar Cervantes, the department's public information officer, said in the release.

"People know using their phone while driving is dangerous and often illegal, but they do it anyway and put themselves and others at risk," he said. "Drivers will see increased law enforcement efforts, as officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is caught texting and driving. If you text and drive, you will pay."

The following reminders are offered "for a safe drive":

"If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location."

"Ask your passenger to be your 'designated texter.' Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages."

"Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving."

Drivers should activate their phone's "Do Not Disturb" feature, silence notifications, or put the phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until they arrive at their destination, the release said.

For more information, visit or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at 501-618-8127 or visit:

https://tinyurl.com/yckwx78u

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