Over 600 Citations Issued During Distracted Driving Awareness Month

PASADENA, Calif.—April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section conducted multiple details throughout the month aimed at curbing distracted driving. On Friday, April 26, the Traffic Section wrapped up its final operation aimed specifically at encouraging drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

“Operations like this hit close to home for the officers who responded to a fatal collision that took place in 2016 that was directly linked to distracted driving,” said Traffic Section Lieutenant Mark Goodman. The lives of several people were dramatically changed in the early morning hours of January 12, when a 19-year-old man ran a red light while speeding and watching a music video on his cell phone. The collision killed a 41-year-old mother and her 18-year-old daughter who were less than three blocks from home. The incident sent the man to prison for five years. “Most people don't understand the danger and potential life-changing consequences involved with looking at a cell phone while driving,” said Lt. Goodman.

Four separate distracted driving details were conducted in April at various locations throughout the city. 639 citations were issued during those details, over 50% of which were for texting while driving. “This is an especially dangerous habit, as looking at or replying to a text requires you to take your eyes off of the road, essentially driving blind. A vehicle can travel hundreds of feet in just a few seconds while a driver looks at a cell phone,” said Lt. Goodman. “The results can be deadly!”

363 citations were issued for texting and driving, and 89 people were cited for failing to use a hands-free device while talking on a cell phone. 187 people were cited for other violations observed by officers.

“Our officers write citations to people who either text while driving or fail to use a hands-free device almost daily,” said Lt. Goodman. “While we may focus resources specifically on distracted driving during the month of April, rest assured that our focus on traffic safety, including distracted driving, happens year-round. Our goal is to make Pasadena a safer place to drive, walk and bike every day.”

Funding for this and other traffic enforcement programs is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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