“Put Down the Phone and Just Drive”
Multiple agencies from Palm Springs to Lake Elsinore have put the public in the inland Empire on notice and are raising awareness on the perils of distracted driving.
Riverside County Sheriffs agencies quoting statistics according to the 2021 California Statewide Public Opinion Survey, say nearly three out of every four drivers surveyed said that distracted driving because of texting was their biggest safety concern.
In 2019, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued nearly 20,000 citations during the month of April to drivers for hands-free cell phone law violations.
Under current law, drivers are not allowed to hold a phone or electronic communications device while operating a vehicle.
Police caution this includes talking, texting, or using an app. Using a handheld cell phone while driving is punishable by a fine.
Violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.
AutoAccident.com Distracted Driving Statistics
- There are 2,758 traffic fatalities every year in California.
- 18% of all fatal accidents are caused by driver distractions.
- Reading text messages on a cell phone while driving involves visual, manual, and mental distractions.
- Reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds
- You can cover the length of a football field while reading a text. (A vehicle going 55 MPH covers just over 80 feet per second. 80 feet times 4.6 seconds equals 368 feet. A football field is 360 feet).
Funding for distracted driving enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.