General Crime

Bay Area Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Distracted Drivers

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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.

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