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January 26, 2012 (San Diego)--Did you know it is illegal for drivers under age 18 to drive while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device?  Did you also know that your teen is more likely to be involved in a collision by having one passenger in the car, even if that passenger is you?

Teen drivers are vulnerable to driving distractions which increase the chance of getting involved in serious vehicle crashes.  Even with a parent in the car, teens engage in bad behaviors, such as talking on their cell phones and eating or drinking while driving.  Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in crashes because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks.  

Through school and social programs, the California Highway Patrol has been able to address these problems and deliver the message to teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving.  “Educating our teens is essential to making them safer drivers,” stated Border Division Chief, Jim Abele.  “An aggressive public education and awareness campaign is the most effective way to increase awareness in our teen drivers.”

On Friday, January 27, CHP offices throughout Southern California will be out in force strictly enforcing the cell phone, texting, and distracted laws with teen drivers.  Teens are reminded to put away their phones, put down their food, and to focus specifically on their driving.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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