SACRAMENTO–Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on California’s roadways.
In 2011 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is encouraging all motorists to make the conscience decision that could literally save their life: “Do not text and drive.”
Distracted driving is a serious safety concern for all drivers. Not only do they put themselves at risk, multi-tasking drivers increase the risk of injuring or killing their passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, or innocent victims traveling in another vehicle.
“Driving is a complex task, requiring a motorist’s full attention. Anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the roadway, even for one or two seconds, could result in tragedy,” said Commissioner Joe Farrow. “The bottom line, whatever the distraction, `It’s Not Worth It!’ ”
Part of the CHP’s strategic plan is to reduce distracted driving in an effort to save lives. To accomplish this goal the CHP is asking all drivers to put away cell phones and decide to improve their driving habits. In addition, the CHP is engaged in a yearlong, grant-funded Adult Distracted Driving traffic safety campaign. By the conclusion of the grant September 30, a minimum of 60 distracted driving enforcement operations and at least 500 traffic safety presentations will have been completed statewide.
In 2012, CHP officers issued more than 168,000 citations for handheld cell phone or texting violations statewide. That is an average of 14,000 distracted driving citations a month.
“I want to encourage every motorist to abstain from texting while driving,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Together we can keep the roads safe and reduce the number of deaths, injuries, and collisions throughout California.”
Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration