Woodstock Police take part in 'Distracted Driving Awareness Month'

April is national "Distracted Driving Awareness Month" and the Woodstock Police Department wants to remind drivers about the dangers of using their cell phones behind the wheel.

"You'll see people crossing center lines," said WPD Officer Shane Bonebrake. "You'll see them coming right up on the back of a car. You see a lot of rear-end collisions, you know, following too closely."

Officer Bonebrake is part of the department's traffic enforcement and accident reconstruction team. Friday he and two other officers conducted an operation at the intersection of Highway 92 and Trickum Road. In just one hour, they pulled over 15 different drivers.

"Distracted driving is the number one leading cause of accidents, severe accidents with injuries and fatalities in the United States," Officer Bonebrake explained.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people were killed by distracted driving in 2019. That as a 10% increase from 2018.

The Woodstock Police Department has put up posts on their social media channels and messages on electronic signs to remind drivers about Georgia's hands-free driving law, which went into effect July 1, 2018.

Officer Bonebrake, however, said sometimes it takes a ticket or fine before someone changes their behavior.

"I could probably write 200-300 tickets a day within 8 hours just of phones," said Officer Bonebrake.

But Bonebrake said for him, this is not about writing tickets. Before becoming a police officer, Bonebrake spent 22 years as a first responder on fire trucks and ambulances.

"I'm tired of putting people in ambulances. I'm tired of putting people in helicopters and body bags," said Bonebrake.

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