Don't text and drive unless you're prepared to pay a $159 or $279 ticket. The Dixon Police Department is about to take a zero-tolerance approach to people who use their cell phones while driving.
The department teamed up with Office of Traffic Safety and 36 nearby law enforcment agencies to combat texting while driving. This is part of a federally funded pilot program to test enforcement tactics that may be used in the future.
Here's what the Dixon Police Department had to say about it:
Beginning November 30 and lasting through December 9, The Dixon Police Department will be out in force to issue tickets to drivers using hand-held cell phones or texting. Nationally in 2010, 3,092 people were killed, and an estimated 416,000 others were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
“Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving on the streets of Dixon is dangerous to everyone on the roadways with them,” said Lt. Ron Willingmyre “Officers will be out looking, and will be ticketing with zero tolerance.”
Because too many drivers still don’t get the message that using a cell phone while driving can be dangerous and deadly, this initial distracted driving crackdown marks the first of many enforcement waves taking place over the next year. California’s distracted driving law bans all drivers from using hand-held devices and texting while operating a motor vehicle. Yet, in 2011, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reported 460,487 handheld cell phone convictions, up from 361,260 in 2010.
Distracted drivers in Dixon talking on a hand-held cell phone or texting will receive a first-time ticket costing a minimum of $159, with a second offense costing $279. But the goal of the special enforcement operation is not to issue tickets, but to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
- Turn off your phone and/or put it out of reach
- Include in your outgoing message that you can’t answer while you are driving
- Don’t call or text anyone at a time when you think they may be driving
Remember: Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.
For more information on distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov/sacramentoregion.
Do you ever use a phone while driving? Texting? Talking? Mapping? What do you think of this effort?