April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just given New Jersey police departments over a million dollars for patrol overtime to crack down on those texting and driving.

It's really a shame that so much money has to be sunk into preventing drivers from being distracted. Don't we all know just how dangerous it is to be looking at your phone while behind the wheel? Apparently not, because the problem isn't getting better, and the cops are cracking down.

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Between 2015 and 2019, 730 lives have been taken due to distracted driving. Just tragic.

Here are the departments in Monmouth and Ocean that will have extra officers on the lookout for those texting and driving.

MONMOUTH COUNTY

  • Allentown
  • Asbury Park
  • Brielle
  • Englishtown
  • Freehold Borough
  • Hazlet
  • Holmdel
  • Keyport
  • Manalapan
  • Marlboro
  • Middletown
  • Red Bank
  • Wall

OCEAN COUNTY

  • Bay Head
  • Berkeley Township
  • Harvey Cedars
  • Jackson
  • Lacey
  • Lakewood
  • Ocean Gate
  • Ocean Township
  • Point Pleasant Borough
  • Stafford

Listen, it's just not worth it. Texting and driving endanger you, your passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians.

The slogan for this campaign is: "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." They are not kidding.

The penalties for a distracted driving ticket in New Jersey are some of the highest in the country For a first offense, expect to get hit with a fine between $200 and $400. A second offense could cost you up to $600. If your dumb enough to get nailed for the third time, things get very serious. Penalties include a 90-day license suspension, 3 points, and a fine as high as $800.

The bottom line, that text can wait. Your lives and the lives of others are far more important.

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