Distracted drivers take at hit during enforcement campaign

Why You Should Never, Ever Use Your Phone While Driving

Visalia Police will be on the lookout for drivers using their phones during April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month

State Senator Joe Simitian, who authored the state's hands-free and no-texting laws, said that California's distracted driving laws have been saving lives for a decade now. The enforcement effort, called Operation Hang Up, will include increased patrols and checkpoints targeting drivers using electronic devices while behind the wheel.

Since the effort began in 2011, police said they have noticed that the number of summonses for cellphone use has declined each year as hands-free technology becomes more prevalent.

Distracted driving is very often the cause of those crashes. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Suffolk and Nassau police said they are participating in the initiative, part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A new report issued by Finder.com indicates that 138 million American adults willing admit to "driving while distracted", which includes talking on the phone, speeding, and driving while tired.

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "Motorists who disregard the law and the dangers of using a smartphone while driving could face stiff penalties". And 250 people will have been injured.

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The Long Beach Police Department will join law enforcement throughout the state to step up enforcement along with awareness efforts by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to discourage distracted driving.

Terri Egan, Acting Commissioner of the Traffic Safety Committee, explained how distract driving convictions will put five points on your license. If you need to look at your phone, find a safe place to pull off the road.

Traffic officers have issued hundreds of thousands of citations over the past three years to those texting or calling on a hand-held cell phone.

Patnaude explained how state police has issued over 7,000 tickets statewide for distracted driving. Your radio or navigation system can take your attention off the road you if you aren't cautious.

Over the last 10 years, police said the department has mapped out locations in Napa where pedestrian and bicycle collisions have occurred.

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