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Police cracking down on texting while driving


Published September 12, 2013

UB Police are turning their attention to safe driving again this semester, paying close attention to motorists using cellphones or texting, with special emphasis on peak traffic times on campus.

The special detail takes place this week, Sept. 9-13. Enforcement patrols are monitoring traffic on the North Campus, according to Lt. Scott A. Marciszewski of UB Police.

The weeklong, safe driving program is funded by a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant, specifically for catching cellphone and text use while driving.

“The second or two you take your eyes off the road to answer a call or read a text can have devastating consequences,” says Marciszewski. “That’s true not only for the driver, but also for other motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians.”

Marciszewski says campus police—including some dressed in plain clothes—are visually surveying campus roadways during peak traffic times.

Enforcement to reduce distracted driving is similar to efforts to enforce seat belt compliance. Officers conduct pre-enforcement visual surveys of cellphone/texting while driving, as well as surveys to measure effectiveness of the enforcement activities.

Traffic accidents on campus are not uncommon, police say, so motorists should take the same precautions they do on highways, especially obeying the laws about texting and using cellphones.

Marciszewski also wants to emphasize that the law has changed. “Now a conviction for texting while driving will add five points to your driving record,” he says.