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'Distracted Driving' Leads to 302 Tickets—So Far

Halfway through the month, the Peninsula area covered by the California Highway Patrol has nailed drivers using a cell phone without a hands-free device, and for texting while driving.

 

California Highway Patrol officers have busted 302 motorists on the Peninsula this month for driving while distracted, according to data released Tuesday. 

More than half of the offenders were driving while talking on their cell phone, according to the Redwood City Highway Patrol Office.

“Driving a vehicle is a task that requires a driver’s full attention,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “The consequences of distracted and reckless driving are real.” The CHP and other law enforcement are participating in crackdown on texting while driving and calling without a hands-free unit while driving.

Almost anything that distracts a person behind the wheel of a vehicle can lead to a ticket.

So far this month, 173 citations were issued for talking on a cell phone while driving; 19 tickets were given for texting while driving; 37 motorists were fined for failure to indicate lane changes and/or driving too fast.

More than half of these motorists lucked out, and received verbal warnings after their infractions.

Using a cell phone while driving—whether hands-free or not—reduces a person's brain activity associated with driving by as much as 37 percent, according to a Carnegie Mellon report, and impairs a driver's reactions as much as having the state legal limit of a 0.8 percent blood alcohol concentration, according to a University of Utah report.

The increased attention on distracted driving conducted by the California Highway Patrol, and enforced by other police, will continue through the month of April.

The table below details the tickets issued for violations of the vehicle codes that comprise distracted driving. 

 

April

Date      

23123(a) VC                      (Cell Phone)

23124(b) VC       (Cell Phone, under 18 use)

23123.5(a) VC    (Texting)

Other Distractions Citations Issued

Verbal Warning for  Distracted Driving Behavior / Violation

1

 

10

0

0

0

4

2

22

0

5

3

10

3

30

0

3

3

8

4

6

0

0

1

0

5

8

0

0

3

14

6

7

0

0

6

4

7

17

0

0

7

4

8

16

0

0

1

7

9

13

0

3

1

5

10

1

0

0

0

1

11

7

0

2

0

0

12

11

0

3

6

6

13

10

0

0

4

4

14

5

0

0

1

1

15

4

0

0

1

4

16

6

0

3

 

1

Subtotal

173

0

19

37

73

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