Crashes caused by drivers who are distracted — by such things as texting, cellphone use and other in-car electronic devices — are on the rise and may soon equal those caused by driving while intoxicated. To address community concerns about distracted driving, a coalition of concerned citizens and members of local law enforcement and safety agencies has formed New Paltz Stop Distracted Driving (NPSDD). NPSDD will be hosting demonstration and education events in the community throughout the year and is seeking people who have been involved in a crash or had a close call caused by someone who was texting or talking while driving. Anyone willing to share their experiences with others should call 255-1775 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. NPSDD is looking particularly for parents and teenagers, although anyone willing to talk about their experience will be welcomed. All information will be kept confidential.
In addition to being unsafe, driving while texting or holding a cellphone is illegal in New York State. During the Thanksgiving holiday, from Nov. 23-27, state troopers in New Paltz and Highland will be conducting “Operation Hang-Up,” a safety sweep focused on the dangerous activity of texting and cellphone use while driving.