(Campaign to stop distracted driving)…..April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In California, the Office of Traffic Safety, El Centro Police Department, California highway Patrol and other local law enforcement and community partners throughout the state are working together to make the roads safer by highlighting the dangers of being distracted while driving, especially by cell phones. Rhonda Craft, Director of the OTS, said law enforcement would rather see everyone off their cell phones than hand out a lot of tickets. She said drivers should take care of calling, texting, setting the GPS and everything else before they hit the road. Lawmakers agree that distracted driving continues to be a growing problem among California drivers. Assembly Bill 1785 went into effect January 1st, requiring all drivers in California to keep their cell phones out of their hands while operating a motor vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers in 2015. That is a 9% increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year. El Centro Police Department is deploying extra traffic officers with grant-funded resources throughout the month of April. The police will provide educational experiences as well as zero tolerance enforcement efforts.