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Costa Mesa Police Department
Monday April 1st, 2019 :: 04:15 p.m. PDT


CMPD Challenges Drivers to Silence the Distraction - April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Costa Mesa, Calif. – April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) will be joining law enforcement agencies statewide in an effort to stop drivers who violate California’s hands-free cell phone law.

Every week this month, CMPD will have additional officers on patrol looking specifically for distracted drivers on their phones.

Distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves a cell phone. According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 66 people were killed and more than 6,500 injured in 2017 from distracted driving-related crashes.

“Cell phones remain one of the top distractions for drivers,” Lt. Victor Bakkila said. “Like any bad habit, it can be hard to break, but this habit can have life-altering consequences. That text or phone call will never be worth losing a life.”

A 2018 observational survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) on driver cell phone use found about 4.5 percent of drivers are still using their cell phone illegally, a nearly 27 percent increase from 2017.

Under the most recent cell phone law that went into effect in 2017, drivers are prohibited from having a phone in their hand for any reason and can only use their phone in a hands-free manner. The phones must be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or center console, and can only be touched once with the swipe or tap of a finger to activate or deactivate a function. First-time offenders face a $162 fine.

If you need to make a call or text someone, pull over and park in a safe location. Struggling to stay off the phone while driving? Put your phone in a place you can’t easily reach, like the backseat or trunk.

Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from OTS, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Costa Mesa Police Department
99 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 714-754-5252

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