Driving home a point
Pasadena officers set to target distracted motorists
By André Coleman 08/15/2013
If you are still in the habit of texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, the Pasadena Police Department will be looking for you Monday when officers conduct what they call “a zero-tolerance distracted driving enforcement operation.”
“We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting,” said Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez. “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. We hope people realize the danger involved and change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families and others on the road.”
The program is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
In 2011, 3,000 distracted drivers were killed in accidents, according to the US Department of Transportation. An additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 similar injuries suffered in 2010.
First-time offenders could receive a ticket and a $162 fine. Repeat offenders could be fined $285. The offense is not a moving violation, but still could impact insurance rates.
“We are very encouraged to see the usage figures decline,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher J. Murphy. “Any number is too high. Any usage of cell phones while driving takes away too much of our brain’s ability to react to what is happening on the road, not to mention when our hands and our eyes are disengaged also.”