Irvine Police Department to Hold Zero Tolerance Distracted Driving Enforcement Operation
IRVINE, CA (April 2, 2012) – In support of the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the Irvine Police Department will be offering “zero tolerance” to those texting or operating hand-held cell phones during the month of April. Drivers who break the law and place themselves and others in danger will be cited. The current minimum ticket cost is $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $279.
Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk. As a result, law enforcement across the state, including the Irvine Police Department are cracking down on cell phone use and texting. This April will see over 225 local agencies and the California Highway Patrol conducting zero tolerance enforcements.
“We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously.” said Irvine Police Chief David Maggard. “Our officers will be taking this ‘zero tolerance’ approach with the goal of eliminating this dangerous and potentially tragic behavior from our roadways.”
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver’s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver.
“Turn off your phone and put it out of reach as you get into the car,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Think before you call or text someone. If there is a chance they may be driving, let it wait. It’s not worth it.”