Pasadena Police Department Ramps Up Distracted Driving Enforcement This Week

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Published : Monday, April 15, 2019 | 5:47 AM

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Pasadena Police Department will be joining law enforcement agencies statewide stopping drivers who violate California’s hands-free cell phone law.

Throughout the month of April, the Pasadena Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking specifically for drivers on their phones.

Last year, the Pasadena Police Department issued 2,612 citations to drivers texting, calling or performing another function on their phone. “Unfortunately, we continue to see this very dangerous behavior on an almost daily basis,” said Pasadena Police Department Traffic Section Lieutenant Mark Goodman. “On April 12th, we conducted our second distracted driver enforcement day for the month of April. 90 people were cited for texting while driving, and 26 cites were issued for motorists using cellular devices improperly.”

“Cell phones remain one of the top distractions for drivers, and this can be deadly,” said Lieutenant Goodman. A 2018 observational survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) on driver cell phone use found about 4.5 percent of drivers are still using their cell phone illegally, a nearly 27 percent increase from 2016.

“That text or phone call will never be worth losing a life over,” said Lieutenant Goodman. “Our next distracted driver enforcement day will be Friday, April 19th, so please put down your cell phone and drive safely every day. The life you save may be your own!”

Under the most recent cell phone law that went into effect in 2017, drivers are prohibited from having a phone in their hand for any reason and can only use their phone in a hands-free manner. The phones must be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or center console, and can only be touched once with the swipe or tap of a finger to activate or deactivate a function. First-time offenders face a $162 fine.

If you need to make a call or text someone, pull over and park at a safe location. Struggling to stay off the phone while driving? Put your phone in a place you can’t reach, like the backseat or trunk.

Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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