400 People Fined In San Diego County Last Week For Distracted Driving
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Aired 2/22/12 on KPBS News.
There were just as many people violating the law as were cited by Sheriff and CHP last week in San Diego
Drivers in Southern California are slightly worse than the rest of the country when it comes to texting or talking while driving. That survey comes from the state Office of Traffic Safety. Last week more than 400 people in San Diego County were fined for distracted driving.
Chelsea Daugherty, 20 said "don't do it." She said texting while driving is one of the things she's trying to stop doing, but it's easier said then done.
"I don't like being with people who text and drive cause I don't trust them. I grab their phone when they text, but its hard for me to put my phone down," she said.
"The problem with the cell phone is that we stop focusing on our primary objective, which is to get somewhere safely," said Lt. David Gilmore, traffic coordinator for the San Diego Sheriff's department. He likens distracted driving to being drunk behind the wheel.
"In the fact that you're not able to focus on your primary objective, which is to drive down the road and not have a collision,"he said.
Last week the Sheriff's department partnered with the California Highway Patrol looking for people who were either texting or talking on a cell phone without a hands free device.
"We issued 414 cites to adult offenders and three citations to juveniles," Gilmore said.
Even drivers who use a hands free device are four times more likely to get into a serious accident, according to a study from Monash University.
If you need to respond to a text while behind the wheel, stop and park, said Gilmore.