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MAYOR GARY QUINN 

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Ocean County Health Department      Contact: Leslie Terjesen
PO Box 2191      Public Information Officer
Toms River, NJ 08754-2191      732-341-9700, ext. 7224
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      DATE: April 1, 2014


ONE TEXT OR CALL………...COULD WRECK IT ALL!!!
NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING MONTH



       Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD), said, “April is recognized at National Distracted Driving Month.  Statistics of cell phone use and texting while driving are alarming. Recently, the National Safety Council released a report describing the risks of using a cell phone while driving.  The report references more than 30 scientific studies describing how using a cell phone, hands-free or handheld, requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely while driving.  Cell phone use while driving not only impairs driving performance, but it also weakens the brain’s ability to capture driving cues.”

      Little said that cell phone use while driving has become a serious public health threat.  “The published report by the National Safety Council provides additional and necessary background for lawmakers and employers considering distracted driving legislation and policies. Several states and municipalities have passed legislation allowing hands-free devices while driving and these laws give the false impression that hands-free phones are a safe alternative when there is clear evidence that they are not.”

      Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator, said, “During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, law enforcement authorities and traffic safety advocates across the country will focus on educating the driving public to the dangers and risks of distracted driving.  Distracted driving can include other activities besides texting and using a cell phone. Other distractions include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, including maps, using a navigation system, adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player.  Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognate attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. All drivers need to make smart choices. If you must answer your phone or send a text, pull over and do it safely.  It only takes a second for a tragedy to strike but the consequences of that one second may last a lifetime.”

        Regenye added, “It may help to turn your phone off or put it in the trunk of glove compartment.  Be safe and make smart choices when it comes to distracted driving.  Remember, a phone in one hand may put a ticket in the other.”


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