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4/5 & 4/13 Bring Enforcement Period for Distracted Driving

Drivers are using their cell phones less often while driving, 10 years after “hands-free” became the law, but distracted driving remains a serious safety challenge.

"We have joined law enforcement throughout the state to step up enforcement along with awareness efforts by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to discourage distracted driving," shares Sergeant Damon Maurice, Visalia Police Department. 

Officers will have a special emphasis this month on enforcing all cell phone and distracted driving laws.

"The goal is to increase voluntary compliance by drivers, but sometimes citations are necessary for motorists to better understand the importance of driving distraction," adds Maurice.

April 5th and 13th have been designated as the two statewide enforcement dates when law enforcement agencies will step up distracted driving enforcement activities.

“Smart phones are part of everyone‟s lives now. Texting, phone calls and posting on social media are nearly as addicting,” said Sgt. Mark Feller. “But doing these things can have deadly consequences while driving on our city‟s streets. Changing these dangerous habits will help make our roadways safer for everyone.”

Visalia PD has the following Safety Tips:
  • If you receive a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location, but „never‟ on a freeway. Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your final destination.
Visalia PD will be deploying extra traffic officers with grant-funded resources throughout the month in city locations with higher numbers of traffic collisions.
Violators will be stopped and cited with fines starting at nearly $200 for first-time offenders.

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