LOMPOC Throughout the month of April, officers with the Lompoc Police Department will be focusing their efforts to deter drivers from distracted driving.
Officers will be on the lookout for drivers who are talking, texting, using an app or any other action on their cell phone that is not hands free and thus is in violation of the state’s cell phone laws. Violators are subject to a fine for the first office, which could be doubled for the second offense, according to a department news release.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed in 2016 due to distracted drivers. A 2018 survey by Fresno State and the California Office of Traffic Safety found that 5% of California drivers were using their phone illegally behind the wheel, authorities said.
“Using the phone should be the last thing a driver focuses on. Text messaging, phone calls, emails, pictures, videos or social media posts can all wait. None of these things are worth risking your life and the lives of other drivers and passengers around you,” police said. “If you have an important phone call or need to reprogram your navigation system, pull over to a safe parking place. To resist the urge of using your phone, either silence it or put it somewhere you can’t reach.”
Funding for the enforcement is being provided by a grant from the California OTS through the NHTSA.