SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Drivers in the greater Sacramento region who are still using handheld cell phones or texting will be targeted for special enforcement starting Monday. Extra law enforcement officers from 37 police departments and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be on the streets February 25 through March 10, looking for those putting themselves and others in danger by these distracted driving practices.
"Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous actions you can take on our roadways," said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. "Handheld talking or texting on a cell phone while driving will no longer be tolerated. This "Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other" campaign will offer a tough reminder to any drivers caught by law enforcement breaking the mobile device laws."
The number of distracted driving deaths is rising nationally, up to 3,331 in 2011, with more than 400,000 injured. In 2011, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reported over 475,000 convictions for handheld cell phone usage and texting.
Distracted drivers talking on a hand-held cell phone or texting will receive a first-time ticket costing a minimum of $159, with a second offense costing $279. But the goal of the special enforcement operation is not to issue tickets, but to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
The Office of Traffic Safety offers these simple tips to keep you or someone else from being a victim of distracted driving:
• Turn off your phone and/or put it out of reach while driving
• Include in your outgoing message that you can't answer while you are driving
• Don't call or text anyone at a time when you think they may be driving
"With the growing dangers of talking or texting on a cell phone while driving, we are happy and fortunate that NHTSA picked California's capitol region for this effort," said Director Murphy. "We will save lives here this year, while helping plans to save lives across the country in the future."
Remember: Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.
For more information on distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov/sacramentoregion.
CONTACT: Chris Cochran (916) 509-3063 email@example.com