News

5,900 motorists in Bay Area cited for cell phone violations last month, CHP reports

State police issue 30,000 tickets statewide related to distracted driving

Cell phone calls, texts and other distractions on the road earned nearly 6,000 Bay Area motorists citations from the California Highway Patrol last month, the CHP announced Friday.

The 5,900 citations to drivers throughout the region came during the CHP's "It's Not Worth It" campaign to remind the public of the dangers

distracted driving poses as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, according to CHP officials.

"We were overwhelmed with the support here in the Bay Area," CHP Chief Teresa Becher said in a statement. "Our allied law enforcement agencies

as well as many other public and private entities in the community stepped forward to make a difference. Some made a pledge, others posted the message on electronic signs or in front of businesses, and for those that would not comply there was enforcement."

Last month, the CHP issued roughly 30,000 citations statewide related to distracted driving, officials said.

Despite April's campaign, Becher said the CHP observed many motorists engaging in unsafe distractions while driving.

In one instance, an officer responding to a major injury accident with emergency lights and siren on had to move around a vehicle that would not change lanes.

"The person was texting and never noticed the officer's presence," the chief said.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alamo Guy
a resident of Alamo
on May 15, 2012 at 8:31 am

A drop in the bucket....try all the moms in the school zones.....what is hands free about holding the phone in one hand using the speaker phone? ...Oh I get it....its the Vallley Moms being cool and showing they are "multi tasking"..... only out done.... by the moms who have the wine lunch with the "grils" 11;30 -2:30 and then have to leave because..... late to pick up the kids ...but they'll be ok to drive .....IT WAS ONLY WINE.... they can make the call saying their running late...using "hands free". ..... Want your kids to be SAFE.... take a look at your actions.
Pull over if you need to make or take the call.... and don't really have hands free, it might be your own child or...the other moms child from the "moms lunch" that.... you save.....from having another street side memorial having to be set up by the friends of those in the accident. Think I'm wrong...watch the ANY of the school areas...let alone the freeways


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

It might help if the cell phone violation included not only a fine but also a point on ones driving record. That may just be the influence that gets people to put their phones away.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Green Valley Mom
a resident of Alamo
on May 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Alamo Guy, you are spot on! It seems like every other SUV has to have a mom with that obnoxious "it's me, so it's OK" look on her face using the speaker phone. I really wish a cop was stationed outside of each elementary school and by Safeway in Alamo. We'd have the national debt paid off in two weeks! I am going to start a website called "Danville people (guys do it too) on cell phones" or maybe the Express should print the names of each person who is cited for cell phone use? I am sure certain Presidents of certain school committees would maybe stop using their phones, huh?
Also, it doesn't help but reinforce the stereotype of entitlement when you break the law with your kids in the car, does it? Nice example for your kids, guys.
Look for the lady snapping your pic to put online...website coming soon!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Jane,

How about banning a violator's cell phone for a month!?!



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Suz
a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2012 at 7:37 am

We are relatively new to the area and find the cell usage by drivers in very poor compliance - by men AND women so I don't think singeling out one set of drivers is justified. 9 times out of 10 the drifting car in front of us is "reading" or texting on their phone.
What we really find strange? The number of people who drive with Fido or Fifi in their lap. I don't get it - drivers should not have independently moving beings in their laps while driving.
We are hands free or the call can wait - our previous residence came with an equivalent $300 cell fine - not worth it nor the risk of hurting someone else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I've said it before and I will say it again: A DUI costs what - $1K or $2K or $3,000 plus jail - or jump suit garbage duty - for the first offense? And we know beyond any doubt through dozens of studies that distracted driving kills as many innocents as drunks. So why the huge disparity in the penalty?
Suz mentions a somewhat substantial fine in her former state or county, but $300+ tickets seem to be the exception, not the rule.
Jane is 100% correct that at minimum a cell phone (or other serious distraction) violation should be one point off your DMV record. Score three more and it's back to the Schwinn.


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