ABERDEEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police Sgt. Matthew Lloyd was like a hawk as he patrolled the street he shared a name with: Lloyd Road.
He was on the lookout for drivers talking on their cellphones, and he was good at finding them.
But instead of writing a ticket, Lloyd wrote up warnings with strings attached.
“We’re giving you a written warning today. However, you have to go online and take care of a few things,” he recently told one distracted driver.
As CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported Friday, it was part of a month-long pilot program in Monmouth County called “Unplugged and Alive.”
Through the program, distracted drivers will have 15 days to log onto a website and watch a video — otherwise they will get a summons in the mail.
The video shows the dangers of talking and texting while driving. It includes personal stories and graphic images.
“We’re looking to change behavior and I think a good way to do that is through enforcement and education,” Aberdeen Police Chief John Powers said.
If the video doesn’t dissuade distracted drivers, maybe the fines will. Legislators in New Jersey recently increased the penalties, with a first offense costing $200-$400.
“I take full responsibility that I was driving and my Bluetooth wasn’t working,” Danielle Lucente said.
Lucente said Lloyd was right to pull her over for talking on the phone.
“When I see someone on the phone and I see small children in the car, as a parent that just drives me crazy,” Lloyd said.
The 15-year veteran of the force with a 3-year-old at home said he knows he faces an uphill battle, but added he’ll write as many warnings as it takes.
The pilot program runs through October.
You Might Also Be Interested In:
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]