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CHP Employs "Zero Tolerance" Policy with Distracted Driving Crackdown

December 31, 1969

Beginning 6am December 30 through 6am December 31, the CHP will be enforcing a "zero tolerance' policy on cell phone use while driving to help prevent California distracted driving accidents. Law enforcement officers will be cracking down on anyone talking on a cell phone illegally, which means the use of a handheld device, or text messaging while driving.

Per the state's vehicle code, a driver can receive a $145 to $1000 fine for the "wanton disregard" of a person's safety. Cell phone violations can result in a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for the next one. Court expenses and other fees, however, usually result in a ticket totaling over $100.

It was in 2008 that the state of California made it illegal for drivers to use a handheld phone while driving. Since then, the CHP has issued 518,161 citations. They also have written at least 11,634 tickets for motorists that were caught texting while driving.

"Texting while driving or using a handheld cell phone to make/take a call places not just the distracted driver but also endangers the other people in the vehicle, the occupants of other autos, pedestrians, and bicyclists, said Howard Law, PC partner and Anaheim car accident lawyer Vincent Howard.

Cell phones are involved in about 1.3 million US traffic accidents a year, resulting in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Unfortunately, many motorists don't think using a handheld device or texting while driving is dangerous as long as they are the ones doing it. Yet the injury, death, and collision rates cannot be ignored.

According to the Los Angeles Times, text messaging and handheld cell phone use are not the only distracted driving behaviors that will be on law enforcement officers' radar this weekend.They will also be keeping an eye out for people who are eating, putting on makeup, or reading magazines while operating a motor vehicle.

"Multi-tasking may be a fine way to get things done when your not driving, but combine driving with another activity that requires your attention and the need for you to take one hand off the steering wheel, and you've created a deadly situation that can destroy lives," said Anaheim Personal Injury Attorney Howard.

Other activities that can prove distracting when driving:
• Watching a movie or downloaded television program on a portable electronic device
• Shaving
• Brushing your teeth
• Feeding a child
• Playing with a pet
• Reading a book
• Changing one's clothes
• Adjusting an MP3 player, CD player, or the radio
• Inputting information into a navigation system

CHP crackdown includes drivers who eat behind the wheel, Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2011

National Safety Council

California Highway Patrol

More Blog Posts:
NHTSA Reports 2,715 California Traffic Fatalities in 2010, California Injury Lawyers, December 15, 2011

NTSB Wants All States to Ban Cell Phone Driving, California Injury Lawyers, December 13, 2011

Huntington Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit Accuses Police Officer of Talking on Cell Phone While Driving, California Injury Lawyers, October 10, 2011

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact Howard Law, PC, and ask to speak with Orange County, California distracted driving lawyer Vincent Howard.