April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, police are cracking down

Law enforcement locally, as well as statewide will be keeping their eyes peeled for distracted drivers during the month of April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Santa Cruz Area California Highway Patrol office will be teaming up with the police departments in Watsonville, Capitola, Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley to educate motorists about distracted driving. During last year's campaign, the CHP wrote 582 citations to drivers who talked on their cell phones while driving, 55 tickets for texting and driving, plus 6 citations for other distracted driving related offenses. Statewide, CHP officers wrote 57,000 tickets for distracted driving. In recent years, hundreds have been killed and thousands seriously injured in California as a result of collisions that involved at least one driver who was distracted, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Nationally in 2011, an estimated 3,331 people died due to distracted driving, the agency reported. What's more, the Department of Motor Vehicles reported nearly 450,000 hand held and texting convictions in 2012. The fine for a first time texting or hand-held cell phone violation is $159. Subsequent tickets run $279. "Any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving is distracting, but the recent dramatic rise in cell phone talking and texting has greatly increased the number of collisions," the agency reported. “No text message or phone call is worth the risk of serious injury—or much worse,” said Brian Kelly, acting secretary of the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency. “Always keep your eyes on the road and hands off your phone while driving.” Avoid the urge to use your phone by:
  • Turning it off phone and/or putting it out of reach when you get behind the wheel;
  • Have your outgoing voice mail message say that you do not answer your phone while you are driving;
  • Don’t call or text someone when you think he or she may be driving;
  • Set your dash controls and song playlist before you pull away from your parking spot; and
  • Stay alert and keep your mind on the task of driving.
Learn more about distracted driving from the Office of Traffic Safety on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS, or on Twitter, @OTS_CA. More information also is available at www.distraction.gov, www.ots.ca.gov, and www.impactteendrivers.org.
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One Response to April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, police are cracking down

  1. Paul Erna says:

    They ruled in LA today you can no longer use ” was useing my GPS map”nnI get why 400,000 every year are injured> http://zautos.com/distracted-driving-infographic-dangers-of-distracted-driving/ One short text is the same as driving 100 yards blind

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