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Bay Area Law Enforcement Cracking Down on 'Distracted Drivers' in April

Over 200 agencies in the Bay Area will be taking part in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Patch file photo by Renee Schiavone.
Patch file photo by Renee Schiavone.
By Bay City News—

Bay Area law enforcement agencies are planning an April crackdown on drivers who are texting or using handheld devices behind the wheel as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, police officials said. 

More than 200 local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol will participate in a month-long "zero tolerance" enforcement and education campaign to curb drivers exhibiting dangerous behaviors. 
 
According to a survey conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2013 nearly 70 percent of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was talking or texting on a cellphone. 
 
Special high visibility enforcement operations to cite cell phone violators will take place in South San Francisco on April 3, April 10 and April 17, police said. The Santa Rosa, Pacifica and Petaluma police departments have publicly announced that their departments will also be on the lookout for drivers not paying attention to the road. 

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety survey, three seconds of texting while driving at freeway speeds is equal to driving the length of a football field, blindfolded. 
 
The increased enforcement and education aims to persuade drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this perilous behavior. The minimum ticket cost is $161, with any subsequent tickets costing drivers at least $281.
Chris Corbett March 31, 2014 at 07:42 PM
As long as the officers don't lie about the alleged texting and their supervisors don't blindly back them, I am okay with the crack down and law. Safety first! It's when dirty cops make the good cops look bad, it's when I have an objection. It only takes one dirty cop to take down a department!
Alyssa Negrette April 01, 2014 at 10:06 AM
It should really be against the law to be doing anything other than driving when operating a vehicle. No mobile devices, no eating, no radio scanning, no smoking, etc. I agree with the above comment. Keep the crack down honest.
Chris Corbett April 01, 2014 at 10:49 AM
That is the hard part for the Sheriffs and Chiefs in our community. There is always one or two cops who are on the dirty side. And, the sad part is, their supervisors and department must blindly "back" them, as they'd be held accountable themselves for faulty supervision. Plus, bad cops have the support of their union, so they have their own cushion, so to speak. I was once pulled over and ticketed for alleged texting while driving, when it was still legal to hold a cell in your hand using a speaker (even looking up numbers), and I was prepared to fight it to the Supreme Court, and not a soul locally cared that their was a cop issuing false tickets back in 2009 or 2010. I am not sure, but he still might be on the force...I hope he is a clean cop now! Video cameras are needed to protect people, that's for sure--both the police from false accusations and the citizens from the police lying and using excessive force...

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