skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Targets Distracted Drivers

Evening Edition

Aired 4/8/14 on KPBS News.

San Diego County sheriff’s deputies will have special patrols on Tuesday and two other days in April to spot distracted drivers, particularly those who are talking or texting on their cellphones.

San Diego County sheriff’s deputies will have special patrols on Tuesday and two other days in April to spot distracted drivers, particularly those who are talking or texting on their cellphones.

The effort is part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Sheriff's Department said it will have zero tolerance for such drivers throughout the month.

“We do this essentially every year, and just to give the public knowledge of what’s going on. To make sure when you’re driving, there’s only one thing that should be going on – driving,” said Lt. Julius Faulkner, head of the sheriff's traffic division.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 3,328 people were killed in 2012 in distracted-driving crashes.

“People, when they think of distracted driving, they think of texting and phones," Faulkner said. "You could be eating a sandwich, putting your lipstick on, reading the newspaper, petting the dog. All those are distractions and these are things we want people to pay attention to and avoid.”

Statistics show teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in car crashes because they have less driving experience and take greater risks.

Under California law, drivers under 18 cannot use any type of phone or electronic communication while driving – including “hands-free” devices.

The Sheriff’s Department offers a “Start Smart” class for teens about driver safety and the importance of not texting while driving.

Faulkner said driving is challenging enough without additional distractions.

“It’s a very complicated thing to do when you think about it. You have to adjust brakes, you have to move seats back and forth, you have to steer, you have to lookout for everybody else on the roadway. So driving has enough distractions as it is, just by itself,” he said.

In addition to Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Department will have special distracted- driving patrols on April 17 and 22.

People caught violating California’s cell phone laws face a minimum fine of $161, plus court fees. Any subsequent violation results in a higher fine.

Please stay on topic and be as concise as possible. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Community Discussion Rules. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus