U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and to raise awareness about the number of distracted drivers on our roads, the Issaquah Police Department will focus on motorists who are talking on the phone, texting, browsing the Internet or otherwise not paying attention to their surroundings.
Officers will conduct enhanced patrols for distracted drivers throughout the day April 17, 2014.
U Drive. U Text. U Pay. is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s monthlong campaign.
In order to stay safe — and focused — behind the wheel, try these tips:
• Turn off cellphones, or place them out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer, read or send a text. If a passenger is present, ask he or she to handle calls and texts for you.
• Pre-program favorite radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors, air conditioning or heat before traveling, or ask a passenger to assist.
• Designate a passenger to serve as a copilot to help with directions. If you’re driving alone, map out destinations in advance. Pull over to study a map or program the GPS.
• Try to avoid eating (especially messy foods) and drinking when you’re behind the wheel. If you do have drinks in the car, makes sure they’re secured.
• Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.
• Passengers should speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior.
• If making or receiving a call to or from somebody who’s driving, ask him or her to call back when they are not driving.
Remember: If police see you holding a phone to your ear or texting while driving, you can be pulled over. The fine for cell phone use is $124 — and can be more if you cause a crash.