On Monday, April 1, officers assigned to the Pasadena Police Department Traffic Section conducted a distracted driving enforcement program throughout the City of Pasadena. Officers were on the lookout for motorists who were texting while driving or failing to use a hands free system while talking on a cellular telephone.
The California Vehicle Code prohibits texting while driving, and motorists must use a hands free system when talking on a cellular telephone while driving. Examples of this are wireless speaker systems that link with a cellular telephone being held in place by a cup holder or other device designed to keep a phone secure. The ways a cell phone can be secured are limited only by the imagination; however the method must be 100% “hands free.”
Texting and holding a cell phone in hand while driving are just two of the dangers associated with distracted driving. In January of 2016, the Police Department’s Traffic Section investigated a fatal collision directly related to distracted driving. A motorist was watching a music video on his cell phone and failed to see a red signal. A collision in which two people were killed was the result. This is a grim reminder that distracted driving can be deadly.
Officers conducted enforcement at various locations during the program, which ran from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program netted a total of 165 citations, 89 of which were for texting and driving. Twenty-four people were cited for failing to use a hands free device while talking on a cell phone and 52 people were cited for other violations observed by officers during the operation. One person was found to be driving while unlicensed.
Funding for this traffic enforcement program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.