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(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – Mayor Chuck Cahn and Township Council on Monday joined Miss Atlantic County 2013 in delivering an important message to Cherry Hill residents: Distracted driving is a dangerous practice that can carry fatal consequences.
Lindsey Giannini, Miss Atlantic County 2013 and co-founder of the non-profit People Against Distracted Driving, addressed the Mayor and Council seeking their support for her statewide campaign, which aims to educate the public to the dangers of distracted driving via roadway signs that she designed herself, and now distributes to local municipalities across New Jersey.
“Council and I enthusiastically support Lindsey’s campaign, and we appreciate her willingness to help educate our residents – particularly our younger drivers – about the potential consequences of texting while driving,” Mayor Cahn said. “She is providing an important public service that could save countless lives, and Cherry Hill Township is proud to support this effort.”
Working with the Cherry Hill Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, Giannini has agreed to donate four large “Stay Alive…Don’t Text & Drive” signs to be installed at Cherry Hill High Schools East and West, Camden Catholic High School, and Camden County College.
Sgt. Amy Winters of the CHPD Traffic Safety Unit, noted that Giannini’s campaign coincides with the Police Department’s efforts to educate the public throughout April as part of National Distracted Driver Awareness Month.
“Distracted driving has joined alcohol and speeding as a leading factor in fatal and serious-injury crashes – and drivers under the age of 20 are involved in more fatal crashes due to distracted driving than any other age group,” said Winters. “Yet, even with the number of accidents and fatalities, we still see people texting and holding cell phones while driving. The Traffic Safety Unit is proud to partner with Miss Giannini to spread this important reminder to put the phone down and focus on driving.”
Giannini’s campaign dates back to early 2011, when she noticed a disturbing new trend among her peers, who had become increasingly cavalier about using their cell phones, especially to text, while behind the wheel. In the time since, Giannini has filmed public service announcements and delivered her message to school groups, municipal officials, and various other organizations across New Jersey.
“I recognized that something must be done, since what I was experiencing was surely taking place in every town and in every state in America,” Giannini said. “People are dying and being seriously injured in hundreds of thousands of serious auto crashes each year nationally that could and should be easily avoided.”
For more information on Giannini and People Against Distracted Driving, visit www.PADD.org or www.DontTextandDriveNJ.org.