OMG i just got pulled over :(
April 4, 2012
Text messaging is all the rage these days—even grandmas and grandpas are doing it. Unfortunately, texting and driving is as dangerous as getting behind the wheel after a couple of cocktails. If you have a habit of using a hand-held phone while driving, now is a good time to break it—local law enforcement is cracking down on the practice for Distracted Driving Month.
“People are so distracted that they don’t even notice a patrol car has pulled up beside them,” said Sgt. Richard Cohen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Law enforcement agencies statewide are strictly enforcing California’s distracted driving laws this month. Motorists caught texting or operating hand-held cell phones will be fined a minimum of $159 for the first violation and $279 for subsequent violations.
California is one of nine states that ban texting and other hand-held phone usage while driving (like talking on the speakerphone while the phone is in your hand). According to the federal Department of Transportation, California road fatalities dropped 22% within two years of the initial ban taking effect.
Distracted driving in general includes texting, eating, grooming and other activities that divert a driver’s attention from the road. In 2009, crashes involving distracted driving resulted in 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries. Texting while driving was found to make crashes 23 times more likely than driving without distraction. For more statistics and information, visit the transportation department’s distracted driving website or check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s summary of the issue.
For everyone’s safety (and to avoid hefty fines), Cohen urges drivers to wait or pull over at a safe location if it’s necessary to use the phone. One quick message behind the wheel could mean loved ones might not actually “c u in 30 min.”