If you text, check your social media on your smart phone, or do anything with it except talk on your phone while driving, then you probably want to go ahead and get in the habit of putting it down.
This spring, the Williamsburg Police Department will be launching a ticketing campaign to crack down on distracted driving, Chief Wayne Bird told the Williamsburg City Council during its monthly meeting Monday.
It’s a safety issue.
“What we used to see with accidents was speeding. Now it has changed. What we are seeing is a very high volume of distracted driving, texting while driving,” Bird said. “You drive down the road and I am sure you all see it, you almost get hit on a daily basis because someone has their cellphone on their steering wheel. We just want to warn people to put your phone down while driving.”
The distracted driving campaign will probably start in late March or early April, and police will advertise it on their Facebook page before it begins.
“If you are texting while you are driving, you will get a ticket. It is not just texting. If you have that smartphone out doing something other than driving you are going to get a ticket,” he said.
If you just have the phone up to your ear talking, you will be OK at least for now, Bird said.
He added that the Kentucky General Assembly is considering passing a law that would ban talking on your cellphone while driving unless you are using some kind of hands free device.
Bird also warned that his department would soon start writing more traffic enforcement tickets at the University of the Cumberlands to drivers, who don’t yield to pedestrians in cross walks, and to people walking across the street not using cross walks, who don’t yield to traffic.
“A lot of people are totally unaware that it is the law that if a person is standing in the crosswalk, you must stop and yield the right-of-way,” Bird said.
He added the university is working to get signs to place in the middle of the crosswalks informing drivers that the law requires them to stop if there is someone in the crosswalk.
Bird noted that there have been a couple of people, who flat out walked in front of vehicles.
“Can you ticket for distracted walking?” Councilwoman Erica Harris jokingly asked.
“I wish we could,” Bird replied.