Cops in 207 police departments in the state will take part in a campaign to deter distracted driving during the first three weeks of April, using more than a million dollars for enhanced enforcement from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

The enforcement campaign is called "UDrive. UText. UPay."

Cherry Hill Police Sgt. Glenn Charney says distracted driving is a major menace.

"Probably one of the most serious we look at on the streets, from the police department's point of view, for safety of drivers pedestrians bicyclists alike," he said.

"About half of the crashes that we experience both in Cherry Hill and across the state are related to driver inattention or distraction. So that's that's very serious."

The campaign runs from April 1 to April 21.

He says police will be looking for the telltale signs of distraction and texting behind the wheel: "Not keeping pace with other vehicles around them. The inability to keep their vehicle basically pointed straight. You see them bouncing from side to side in the lanes. Sudden stops, sudden starts. The failure to start at a stop sign or a green signal. Tailgating."

Fines for distracted driving or texting and driving have increased. The minimum for a first offense is $200, a second offense is $400, and $600 for a third offense with the possible license suspension for up to 90 days.

More than 3,400 people were killed nationwide in 2016 alone as a result of distracted driving crashes, and an estimated 391,000 people were injured.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM