By SDCN Editor
Oceanside, CA–April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Oceanside Police Department will be actively looking for drivers throughout the month who violate California’s hands-free cell phone law.
“Holding your phone and using it while driving is dangerous and illegal,” Sergeant Adam Morales said. “Before starting the car, silence your phone or put it in the glove box, trunk, or back seat. Anywhere you can’t reach it.”
Oceanside police continuously enforce distracted driving laws and will conduct five enforcement efforts concentrated specifically on distracted driving on undisclosed dates and times throughout April across Oceanside. The goal is to enhance safety on the roads through education and enforcement.
According to the 2022 California Statewide Public Opinion Survey, nearly 72% of drivers surveyed said that distracted driving because of texting was their biggest safety concern. In 2021, the California Highway Patrol issued nearly 56,000 citations for distracted driving.
Under current law, drivers cannot hold a phone or electronic communications device while operating a vehicle. This includes talking, texting, or using an app. Using a handheld cell phone while driving is punishable by a fine. Violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.
If you have an important phone call, text, or email or are in a situation with other distractions, pull over to a safe parking spot. Other distractions can be eating, grooming, reaching for something that fell on the floor, putting on or taking off clothing, and talking with passengers or children in the back seat.
Funding for distracted driving enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.