The Avalon Police Department announced that it is participating in a new distracted driver education campaign.  Avalon Police will join other police departments around the state with the new initiative called “Turn the Phone Off” which is designed to help educate motorists about the dangers involved with texting and talking on a hand-held cellular phone.

“Distracted driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents throughout the State”, said Avalon Police Chief William McCormick.  “This new campaign allows us to enforce the laws that prohibit texting and talking while driving while also providing a very important education program for the motoring public”.

The “Turn the Phone Off” campaign was launched by the South Jersey Traffic Alliance.  As a participant in the campaign, Avalon Police will issue special warnings and informational fliers to any motorist who is stopped for texting or talking on a hand-held cellular phone.  The motorist will be instructed to go to a special website to watch a video that details the dangers of distracted driving.  If the motorist watches the video and fills out necessary information on the website, a summons will be avoided.  If the motorist does not comply, a summons will be issued.  New Jersey law prohibits the operation of a hand-held cellular phone while driving; violators are subject to substantial fines.

The video was created by AT&T and features police officers, offenders, family members and others recounting tearful stories about the consequences of texting and driving.

The United States National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that one quarter of all police-reported motor vehicle accidents are a result of distracted driving.

The Avalon Police Department will participate in this program from April 1st through September 3rd, 2013.   The public can view the educational video anytime at