April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Laguna Beach Police Department will be joining law enforcement agencies statewide stopping drivers who violate California’s hands-free cell phone law. In April, Laguna Beach Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking specifically for drivers on their phones.
Distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves a cell phone. According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 66 people were killed and more than 6,500 injured in 2017 from distracted driving-related crashes.
Cell phones remain one of the top distractions for drivers. “That text or phone call will never be worth losing a life over. That is why curbing distracted driving is high on our priority list,” said Lieutenant Tim Kleiser.
Under the most recent cell phone law, drivers are prohibited from using their phone except 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.
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.