Somerset County Effort Designed To Highlight Distracted Driving Dangers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Distracted drivers who are pulled over in one New Jersey county have a choice — watch an emotional video or pay a fine.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office launched a new program earlier this month designed to curb drivers from using cell phones while driving, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.

The “Put it Down” effort is designed to be a two-pronged approach that includes education and an aggressive enforcement effort.  County officials say that instead of writing tickets to drivers breaking the law, police will issue a warning.

If drivers go to and view a video designed to inform them about the dangers of distracted driving along with answering a set of questions about the video, the warning will be voided.

The video features tearful stories about the consequences of texting and driving from loved ones who lost their lives in a distracted driving incident.

“After seeing that video, I have been putting my Bluetooth on [regularly] ever since or ignoring the phone,” said one of 800 drivers who have gotten warnings since the program started.

County officials said that if a driver doesn’t view the video, the warning will become a summons and be hit with a $100 fine.

The message the Somerset County Prosecutor wants to spread with his program is if you choose to text and drive, it could be your last text.

What are your thoughts on this strategy?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

  • DanTe

    How about just confiscate their vehicles? No cars = no idiots on the road. They’re too stupid to care, that’s why they’re doing everything BUT driving while on the roads. MAKE them care by taking away their cars.

    • Clark

      Have to admit, that’s an excellent idea!

    • Jean

      I doubt that would work. They tried that with drunk driving and it didn’t work then either. Like you said, they don’t care and they are so arrogant and insolent that they don’t obey the law. You take away their car, they’ll just borrow or rent one and do it anyway. You take away their license, they drive without one. The only thing they feel is the pain of having to pay a huge fine.

  • vexation

    @ jimmy. Did you by chance forget your meds today? I certainly hope a nut job like you stays out from behind the wheel of a car. Do you seriously think the DEA and the NSA don’t have anything better to do than harass a mentally ill nobody such as yourself? SEEK TREATMENT!!!

  • karlson

    Education works best when it hits the pocketbook. If you fine the offender and hit them hard enough, that’s an education. If they are still uneducated, the second offense should double the fine. A third offense should triple it. Anything after that should include points on the license and possibly loss of driving privileged for repeat offenders.

  • Bullett

    I think a tour through the city morgue should do the trick.

  • jimmy

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.
    At the corner of Calaveras and N. Park Victoria in Milpitas California two corrupt DEA allmost caused the death of an elderly lady while they where harrassing a suspect.
    The elderly lady was crossing the street about 15 yards ahead of the suspect’s car that was going west bound on Calaveras after having just pulled out of the Shell station. One of the DEA in the bus stop near the Shell station tried to gain the attention of the suspect thereby almost causing the car to hit the elderly lady. The other DEA was at the Shell station.
    They have also recently, on several occasions, entered my home while I was not there so that they can get better access to my vehicle and loosen steering linkages, remove wheel weights, tamper with breaks, tamper with transmission linkages, etc… Every time I detect that they have entered my home, my dog looks like he is not feeling well. Why take my insolence out on a dog?
    They are also shooting BB guns at my car while driving. One instance they shot a BB gun at my car in a very busy intersection of highways 680&101 while I was traveling 55+ mph.
    They have been harrassing me for 20 years.
    The DEA is part of the problem and not solution. Apart from being the proxy force for the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and the NSA, they have been a failure since Nixon’s inception. The DEA could benefit from a large buget cut and employee rift to remove the corrupt ones.

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