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Hospital joins campaign to stop drivers from texting

NJBIZ STAFF//December 5, 2011//

Hospital joins campaign to stop drivers from texting

NJBIZ STAFF//December 5, 2011//

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The dangers of texting and driving are the focus of a campaign launched Nov. 29 by Somerset Medical Center and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police and Emergency Medical Associates.

The dangers of texting and driving are the focus of a campaign launched Nov. 29 by Somerset Medical Center and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police and Emergency Medical Associates.

The public awareness campaign is aimed at reducing car accidents and saving lives. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, the average American sends or receives 40 text messages a day, and those between the ages of 18 to 24 text more than 100 times a day. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are four times as likely to get into a serious car crash when using a hand-held device while driving.

“Central New Jerseyans spend a lot of time on the road, and multitasking has become the norm as we try to juggle the responsibilities of work, school and home,” said Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano in the announcement. “Even though drivers know texting while driving is distracting and punishable by a fine in New Jersey, many continue to do so, putting themselves, their passengers and other drivers at risk.”

Under the new initiative, drivers stopped by police in Somerset County for texting while driving will receive a written warning and be required to review an educational video highlighting the dangers. Failure to view the video within 15 days of the incident will result in a $100 summons.

“At Somerset Medical Center, we see far too many lives devastated as a result of careless driving,” said Dr. Dennis McGill, medical director of the hospital’s emergency department, in a statement.