April 1st marks day one of the Distracted Driving Awareness program throughout South Jersey.
In Ocean City, police stopped distracted drivers not to issue fines but rather warnings that require motorists to view an online distracted driving video within 15 days.
Motorist crossing the 34th street bridge in Ocean City were under the watchful eye of Ocean City police as day one of the Distracted Driving Awareness program began.
Captain Steve Ang with Ocean City Police says "we may end up doing some more concentrated efforts like this. Mostly, we're going to be doing roving patrols throughout the city, stopping people, giving them that warning card and instructing them to take the program online."
The warning requires drivers to view an online educational video and answer some questions within 15 days of the receiving the warning.
Ocean City Police and the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance hope to prevent some of the tragedies experienced by families throughout the region.
Mike Kellenyi lost his daughter Nikki in a distracted driving accident last April and hopes this program will initiate safe driving habits in area motorist.
He adds that "If you save one life today by all this, you've done a lot, cause there's nothing, no text, no distraction worth a life."
The SJTSA tells us a car traveling at fifty miles per hour moves at a rate of about 75 feet per second. That means if a driver is distracted for 4 seconds, they are essentially driving the length of a football field, blindfolded.
The organization also say a person that's distracted, particularly when they are texting and driving has the same distraction factor as someone driving under the influence of alcohol that's .08 or higher. That coupled with the fact that research indicates drivers are 23 more times likely to be involved in a crash if you are texting and driving.
Officers will be cracking down on distracted driving throughout the summer as Ocean City and 34 other police departments in Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic and Salem counties participate, hoping to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
Anyone interested in viewing the distracted driving video can click here: