Pasadena Police Officers Focusing on Distracted Drivers This Friday

PASADENA, Calif.—On Friday, July 17, Pasadena police officers will focus their efforts distracted drivers. Officers will be out looking for drivers who are texting, watching videos, taking selfies or talking on a handheld phone, which and violates California’s cell phone law. A violation is subject to a $162 fine for the first offense, and at least $285 for a second offense.

Distracted driving is a dangerous, illegal behavior that Pasadena Police Department is actively working to prevent. Distracted driving comes in many forms, but cell phones remain the top distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 people were killed in 2016 due to distracted drivers. A 2018 observational survey by Fresno State and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) found nearly 5% of California drivers were using their phone illegally behind the wheel, either by talking on or using their phone without a hands-free device.

“Using the phone should be the last thing a driver is focused on,” says Traffic Lieutenant Max Dahlstein. “That text, phone call, email, picture, video or social media post can wait. None of these things are worth risking your life or the lives of others.”

The focus for drivers should be on the road. Other distractions include eating, grooming, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio, taking off a jacket, or reaching for an object on the floor.

If you have an important phone call or need to search for an address, pull over to a safe parking place. Resist the urge to use your phone by putting it on silent or placing it somewhere you can’t reach.

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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