During the month of April Danville Police will crack down on distracted drivers as part of national distracted driving awareness month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified texting and cell phone usage as the fastest growing and most visible distraction as an associated factor in collisions.
The Office of Traffic Safety, California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will work together to focus on this growing trend. Police Chief Steve Simpkins said Danville PD is taking part in this effort and officers are increasing their enforcement efforts.
"Our officers on the street are keeping an eye out for distracted driving," he said. "We're issuing citations and we're taking a proactive stance in dealing with distracted drivers."
According to the department's 2011 annual report, there were 223 traffic collisions last year. According to Distraction.gov, more than 196 billion text messages were sent in June 2011, up nearly 50 percent from June 2009.
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured. Teen drivers are the most likely group to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported; in 2009, 16 percent of teens involved in a fatal crash were distracted.
For more information on distracted driving or the town's enforcement efforts, contact Traffic Sgt. Nate McCormack at 314- 3721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.