Laconia police to pay attention to distracted drivers

LACONIA — Police officials reported they investigated 68 traffic accidents in February, 16 of which were on Union Avenue.

Fifteen of the accidents were caused by unsafe backing up, 11 were caused by skidding, and while 14 were categorized as driver inattention.

Chief Chris Adams said one of the new Problem Oriented Policing (POP) teams is focusing on traffic safety, and driver inattention will be one of the issues the team will address.

He said it is hard to determine when driver inattention is attributable to cell phone use, but said the department is waiting for the state Legislature to decide whether or not cell phone use will continue to be allowed and will address the issue at that time.

"It is illegal to text while driving," Adams said.

Of the 68 accidents reported, 16 occurred on Union Avenue, while there were four each on Court Street, Gilford Avenue, Oak Street, Parade Road, and South Main Street.

Adams said those roadways continue to be streets with the highest accident rates. They are also some of the most traveled streets, and part of the POP project will focus on those areas.

In February, police issued 14 summons and arrests, and issued 205 warnings.