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Murrieta Police Ticket Drivers for Using Cellphones

The local crackdown held Wednesday was part of the “It’s Not Worth It!” enforcement, being conducted statewide as part of April's month-long Distracted Driving Awareness campaign.

Murrieta police handed out 21 tickets Wednesday to drivers who were allegedly caught texting or operating hand-held cellular devices.

The local crackdown was part of the “It’s Not Worth It!” enforcement, being conducted statewide as part of April's month-long Distracted Driving Awareness campaign.

Last April, more than 57,000 tickets were written statewide for texting and hand-held cell use. There were nearly 450,000 convictions in 2012.

The current minimum ticket cost for the offense if $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $279.

Murrieta police are scheduled to conduct the day-long enforcement again on Tuesday, April 16, according to a news release.

Murrieta officers join others from more than 200 other local law enforcement agencies plus the CHP this month in conducting these zero tolerance enforcements.

Last April, more than 57,000 tickets were written statewide for driving while texting or using their hand-held cellular devices, Gruwell pointed out; during 2012, nearly 450,000 were convicted of the offense.

"Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk," Murrieta police traffic Sgt. Jim Gruwell stated. "In recent years, hundreds have been killed and thousands seriously injured in California as a result of collisions that involved at least one driver who was distracted."

Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, Gruwell stated.

The greatest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes is found among drivers who are younger than 20, studies show.

"In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver’s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver," Gruwell stated.

There is also reportedly little difference in the risks resulting from hands-free and hand-held cell phone conversations; both can result in “inattention blindness” which occurs when the brain isn’t seeing what is clearly visible because the drivers’ focus is on the phone conversation and not on the road, studies show.

"When over one third of your brain’s functioning that should be on your driving moves over to cell phone talking, you can become a cell phone 'zombie,'" Gruwell stated.

Murrieta police encouraged to turn off their phones and/or put them out of reach while driving, include in their voicemail message that they can not answer while driving, and not to call or text anyone else whom they think might be driving.

"This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cellphone use while driving," Gruwell stated. "We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road."

Once tabulated, Murrieta police plan to report the final number of tickets that were issued locally during the awareness campaign.

An additional 22 drivers were cited Wednesday in Murrieta for other alleged infractions as a result of the stepped-up enforcement, according to Gruwell.

Don Lambert April 06, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Here are a couple of more excerpts from the same article. They probably have one or more persons working full time on this activity. We probably could not afford this now. Actually Mountain View probably does not have a budget problem with all these companies located there, http://californiapolicechiefs.org/news/mountain-view-police-departments-social-media-strategy-20-in-the-heart-of-silicon-valley “Without question, social media is a vital component to the law enforcement mission. In the same way that community policing positively changed the relationship between police and the community decades ago, social media has provided our profession with a unique opportunity and medium to connect, engage, and communicate with the people we serve“ “The Mountain View Police Department has 97 sworn officers. It has an active social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Nixle, and Foursquare. “About the author: Lieutenant Chris Hsiung is the social media manager in charge of strategy, community engagement and growth through the police department social media channels. He created the department technology cadre which is tasked with researching and instituting best practices for law enforcement technology within the department. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavior Science & Sociology from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in eBusiness Management from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA. Twitter: @chMtnViewPD
Carl Petersen III April 23, 2013 at 08:26 PM
kristin c 12:52 pm on Friday, April 5, 2013 "only a democrat would make a no cell phone law to begin with." . . Want to guess again? The law has been in effect since 2009. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/cellularphonelaws/
Cuz I Care May 14, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Entrapment is when your insurance rates go up and it wasn't your fault !
Cuz I Care May 14, 2013 at 01:50 AM
LOL,,, my brother had one of those air horns in his Javlin,,, we had so much fun w that thing !
Cuz I Care May 14, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Kuddos Philip rivers to admit on the joke,,, it did make for some conversation.

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