“Put your phone away — or get ready to pay.”
That warning is coming from the Urbandale Police Department as it beefs up safety enforcement during April, which it has designated “Distracted Driving Month.”
The department will have more officers on the road this month, and they will be looking for violators, Sgt. Chad Underwood of the Urbandale Police Department told the Urbandale Times.
“If we see it, we can stop them and educate them, as well as potentially write a citation for it,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we do see some accidents as a result of people being distracted, or being on an electronic device or doing other things while they’re driving that they shouldn’t be doing — doing things that are taking their attention off the road when they are driving a vehicle,” he added.
“This Awareness Month that we have is a way to remind them to pay attention to the road.”
In 2019, distracted driving most commonly consists of people talking on phones or otherwise using electronic devices.
“We recommend hands-free devices,” that are now an option on many new cars, Underwood said. But drivers also are known to indulge in non-electronic activity — talking to passengers in the back seat or even putting on make-up or shaving.
“Just a split second is all it takes for an accident to occur when you’re driving, especially at a high rate of speed,” Underwood said.
In addition to stopping suspicious drivers, the Urbandale Police Department is taking its education campaign to social media.
“A lot of people follow us on Facebook and Instagram, which we think is the best thing, so we put out information there as well,” he said.
Because knowledge put into practice can at best save a life and at least help you avoid “a very expensive ticket for doing something that could obviously put you in great danger.”