News

Danville PD to crack down on distracted drivers

Get eyes off cellphones and on the road, officials urge during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The Danville Police Department is among the dozens of Bay Area law enforcement agencies cracking down on texting drivers and other motorists whose eyes aren't on the road this April as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Local police agencies, along with the California Highway Patrol, will take part in a "zero-tolerance" enforcement and education effort this month to cut down on the number of inattentive drivers -- a campaign backed by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

"While our officers are always on the lookout for distracted drivers, we do place a heightened awareness on the issue (in April) in support of the OTS mission," Danville Police Chief Steve Simpkins said.

In 2013, nearly 70% of California drivers surveyed by the OTS said they were hit or nearly hit by a driver who was talking or texting on a cellphone. According to the survey, three seconds of texting while driving at freeway speeds is equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.

Cellphones are the root of most distracted driving problems in Danville, according to the police chief.

"As a frequent driver and pedestrian in town, I see far too much distracted driving, especially the use of smartphones. I am worried that the proliferation of smartphones has also created an atmosphere of ambivalence towards their use while driving," Simpkins said.

"While a person might think they can handle sending a quick text, they are not exempt from the laws of physics," he added. "You can't watch the road and use your hands to send a text message at the same time."

The increased enforcement and education locally and statewide aims to persuade drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of serious injuries caused by inattentive motorists.

The minimum ticket cost is $161, with any subsequent tickets costing drivers at least $281.

Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this article

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Lady Cyclists
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2014 at 8:44 am

Thank you. I see distracted drivers every day. No one seems to make eye contact with anyone anymore. Put your phone down, not only when you drive, but when you stand in a line or sit in a waiting area sometime. Look around. It's pretty sad what you will see.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 3, 2014 at 9:42 am

Great Idea...But I think the PD should always be on the look out for distracted drivers.

How about the drivers reading the newspaper or ladies putting on make-up or those crazy drivers that have to look at the passenger while talking to them and speaking of looking...how about those male drivers that most look and sometimes turn their head to admire a short skirt walking down the street in Danville or those ladies that do the same thing when they see a hunk walking down the in Danville.

Hey PD it's not just the smart-phone users only that are distracted from the road in front of them. Have ever seen the freeway back-up because of those over head signs that sometimes say "click or ticket".

Oh well enough of the silliness.

Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Please, please, please, deputize me - and raise the fine to what a DUI ticket costs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pualani
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Apr 10, 2014 at 11:01 am

Sadly you will see SO many of our young people driving up Sycamore Valley/Camino Tassajara after SRVHS gets out for the day on their phones while driving. I'm not saying they are the only ones, but really all you have to do is take a ride on that road after 3:20pm and there will be plenty of examples of this dangerous decision.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Pualani-
Sounds like a great location idea for posting plenty of Danville's PD. And it's a win-win; the state & county get lots of extra revenue from the fines.
Don't be afraid to phone the DPD, or go into their office (it's the back/lower side of the city permit office on LaGonda) in person. Most of the time they are happy to have the feedback.


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