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CHP – ZERO Tolerance On Cell Phone Use Behind The Wheel!

Posted on 20 December 2010 by Monica Zech

 San Diego County Law Enforcement Agencies announce “Zero Tolerance” for Motorists not using Hands-Free Devices

While today’s world enjoys the benefits of an ever increasing pool of technological devices, these benefits come at a price.  Due to the increase in the number of traffic collisions caused by drivers illegally using cell phones, San Diego County Law Enforcement agencies are joining forces on November 17, 2010 to focus enforcement efforts on this menace to the safety of the motoring public.  The San Diego, Oceanside, and El Cajon Offices of the California Highway Patrol, Carlsbad Police Department, Chula Vista Police Department, Coronado Police Department, El Cajon Police Department, Escondido Police Department, National City Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and San Diego State University Police Departments will be aggressively seeking out drivers violating the “hands free” cell phone law.

Cell phone use has become so popular these days that many times we don’t realize when, where, and how often we are using our cellular telephones.  According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), in 2008 there were more than 30,000 parties in California involved in traffic collisions where inattention played a role.  More than 1,000 of those drivers identified a cell phone as the inattention.  Cell phones are the number one identifiable inattention stated on collision reports.   

Driving is a skill that requires your full attention to safely control your vehicle and respond to events happening on the roads around you.  According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute distracted driving is “anything that diverts the driver’s attention away from the primary tasks of navigating a vehicle and responding to critical events.”  Although NHTSA has indicated that cell phones are the most familiar form of distraction, applying make-up, using a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), eating, drinking, changing CD’s, adjusting the radio and reading are numerous activities that can distract a driver.           

Law enforcement agencies are already working together to share knowledge and promote a greater understanding of the issue, and identify additional strategies to end distracted driving.  Distracted driving is a serious, life-threatening practice and we will not rest until we stop it.

The message is simple – There is no phone call worth a human life.

 –  Pay attention or pay the price

 – Don’t let distractions take away from your reaction

 A Press Conference will be held on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 10:30 am at the California Highway Patrol – Border Division Office (9330 Farnham Street, San Diego 92123).  All participating agencies will be present and the collected statistics will be released to the media at that time.

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