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November 17 day of enforcement announced

November 16, 2010 (San Diego) -- Due to the increase in traffic collisions caused by drivers illegally using non-hands-free cell phones, San Diego County Law Enforcement agencies are joining forces on November 17 to focus enforcement efforts on this danger to safety of the motoring public. The San Diego, Oceanside, and El Cajon offices of California Highway Patrol as well as the Sheriff’s Department, San Diego State University police, and police departments in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, National City, Oceanside, San Diego will be aggressively seeking out drivers violating the “hands free” cell phone law.


According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), in 2008 there were more than 30,000 parties in California involved in traffic collisions where inattention played a role. More than 1,000 of those drivers identified a cell phone as the inattention. Cell phones are the number one identifiable inattention stated on collision reports.

According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute distracted driving is “anything that diverts the driver’s attention away from the primary tasks of navigating a vehicle and responding to critical events.” Although NHTSA has indicated that cell phones are the most familiar form of distraction, applying make-up, using a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), eating, drinking, changing CD’s, adjusting the radio and reading are numerous activities that can distract a driver.


Law enforcement agencies are already working together to share knowledge and promote a greater understanding of the issue, and identify additional strategies to end distracted driving.


“Distracted driving is a serious, life-threatening practice and we will not rest until we stop it,” a CHP press release states. “The message is simple – There is no phone call worth a human life.  Pay attention or pay the price. Don’t let distractions take away from your reaction.”

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