ACPD launches distracted driving initiative

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:23 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Albemarle County Police Department has a new initiative to try to decrease the number of accidents caused by people doing anything but driving while behind the wheel.

“People are on their GPS and cell phones texting, making phone calls, anything that’s taking their attention away from the roadways,” Sergeant Dean Dotts with the ACPD Traffic Unit said.

Part of this initiative includes police driving in unmarked vehicles looking for violations.

“Today we have written approximately 46 summonses for distracted driving - anyone with a cellphone in their hand. The new law that came into effect this year simply says if you have a cell phone in your hand or any handheld communication device in your hand, it’s a violation of the law,” Sgt. Dotts said.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2020 alone there were 121 fatalities attributed to distracted driving in the commonwealth and more than 10,000 injuries. This makes up for 20% of all car-related injuries in Virginia.

Drivers are reminded to put the phone down to make sure they get to where they’re going safely.

“With the holidays approaching its just important to get the message out there to slow down, buckle up, drive sober, and again, put the phone down and drive safe,” the sergeant said.

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