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Put Down the Phone and Just Drive: Oct. 5-12 is Distracted Driving Awareness Week

Apple Valley, Calif. – Despite the risks of phone use while driving, many California drivers continue to violate California’s hands-free cell phone law.

In support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement campaign, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Apple Valley Station, reminds drivers to put down the phone when you drive.

On October 9, 2020, the Apple Valley Station will join other law enforcement agencies across the country with increased patrols that focus on drivers who break California’s hands-free cell phone law.

Distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves cell phones or other electronics that take your eyes off the road.

Last year, the CHP issued nearly 20,000 tickets during the month of April alone to drivers who were on their cell phone.

According to an online survey conducted this year by the OTS, University of California, Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC), and Ewald and Wasserman Research Consultants, 75.1% of surveyed drivers listed “Distracted Driving because of TEXTING” as their biggest safety concern.

Distracted driving laws have been in effect since 2008. Under the 2017 hands-free cell phone law, drivers are not allowed to hold a phone or other electronic device while behind the wheel. First-time offenders face a $157 fine.

If you need to make a call or text someone, pull over and park at a safe location. Drivers are encouraged to silence their phones before starting the car, or placing the phone somewhere you can’t reach it, such as the glove box or trunk.

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