WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department is taking part in a state effort to keep roads safe and combat distracted driving. The mantra: “U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay.”

Roads around Warren County are getting additional scrutiny as part of the U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay traffic safety initiative. From April 3-10, Warren County will be sending out high-visibility traffic patrols dedicated to catching and correcting instances of distracted driving, before they lead to tragedy.

The department says that distracted driving has risen in prominence to become a leading contributor to traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 3,142 deaths and 424,000 injuries in car crashes involving distracted drivers in 2019. Another 3,142 deaths were reported in 2020.

Distracted driving is defined by the NHTSA as including texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking, and other activities that take attention away from the wheel. Sending and reading text messages are considered the greatest dangers, The effort against distracted driving is being led in cooperation with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

The traffic safety push comes at a time when traffic patterns are under the microscope in parts of Warren County. In February, a traffic study was presented in the town of Queensbury, examining flow along busy parts of Aviation and Quaker Road as they interact with traffic to Glens Falls, Lake George and Hudson Falls.