Cracking Down on Distracted Drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    We take on the issue of distracted driving. Is it okay to talk on your cell phone? Text while driving? Dial a number? We talk to the CHP about what is and is not allowed. (Published Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011)

    If you are one of those drivers who still talks or texts while driving, you might want to think again, especially this month.

    Thousands of tickets have been written in California over the past couple of weeks. This is national distracted driving awareness month, and as part of it, CHP and law enforcement around the state are cracking down.

    Statewide, there have been more than 20,000 tickets written so far in April.

    It's part of a campaign called "It's not worth it."

    According to a first ever statewide study on the subject, nine-percent of drivers on the road at any given time are talking on their phones or texting which leads to thousands of accidents per year.

    "And that's what this campaign is all about. It's not to get tickets. It's not to write and get money.  It's to really make folks aware that they have to pay attention while they drive.  There is a responsibility being behind the wheel and that responsibility is that you are going to protect your life and the life of the person who may be driving in the lane next to you," said San Diego Police Asst. Chief Robert Kanaski.

    The fine for a first time offense in California is $159.

    The video at the top of this page shows how the new laws are causing some confusion not only for drivers, but police as well.  It's worth a look.