Temecula P.D. Joins Crackdown on Texting and Handheld Cell Use Behind the Wheel

RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF PRESS RELEASE:

As part of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the Temecula Police Department joined with over 200 other local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol in a month long “zero tolerance” enforcement and education campaign to curb those texting or operating handheld cell phones while driving.

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Temecula Police Department conducted a special high visibility enforcement operation to cite cell phone violators in the city of Temecula.

As a direct result of the operation, 42 drivers were cited for cell phone violations along with another 32 drivers cited for other unsafe driving violations.

Details:

The Temecula Police Department, as part of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, will be joining with over 200 other local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol in a month-long “zero tolerance” enforcement and education campaign to curb those texting or operating handheld cell phones while driving. Officers will be on alert throughout the month for those who break the cell phone laws and place themselves and others in danger. Special high visibility enforcement operations to cite cell phone violators will take place on April 3, 8, 17, and 22.

The increased enforcement and education aims to persuade drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this perilous behavior. The “It’s Not Worth It!” theme emphasizes that a phone call or text isn’t worth a hefty fine or a collision. The current minimum ticket cost is $161, with subsequent tickets costing at least $281.

“We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously,” said Temecula Police Chief Jeff Kubel, “because we see the aftermath of these totally preventable crashes. That text message or cell phone call is not worth someone’s life.”

Drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver’s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver. According to research, sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. Even a three-second glance at freeway speeds means a driver has traveled the distance of a football field.

Research shows that there is no difference in the risks between hands-free and handheld cell phone conversations, both of which can result in “inattention blindness” which occurs when the brain isn’t seeing what is clearly visible because the drivers’ focus is on the phone conversation and not on the road. When over one third of your brain’s functioning that should be on your driving moves over to cell phone talking, you can become a cell phone “zombie.”

3 Responses to "Temecula P.D. Joins Crackdown on Texting and Handheld Cell Use Behind the Wheel"

  1. Julie   April 24, 2014 at 10:22 am

    How about doing this more often and not just in April! I can’t tell you how many times I have almost been hit by an oncoming car while some distracted person young AND old are heads down texting! Almost rearended too! When you are behind the wheel, just DRIVE! Everything else can wait. If it’s an emergency, then pull over as soon as you can safely do so, but for goodness sake pay attention to the road before you kill someone! Cells should be automatically text disabled when you are inside a running vehicle. With todays technology, that should be a possibility!

    Reply
  2. Reality Checker   April 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    What about passengers? How would it tell the difference between the driver and all the pacs? Trying to think of a way….

    Reply
  3. paullywog   April 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Just have a couple officers at some of the schools where they are parked and no stop talking and texting and nearly getting into accidents because they are not paying attention at all. Signs are posted and rules are out the window. They don’t care.

    Reply

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