LA County Sheriff's, CHP To Increase Distracted Driving Enforcement In Santa Clarita

"However, texting is not the only distracted driving behavior; other unsafe driving distractions include putting on makeup, tending to children in the backseat, eating, tuning the radio, checking Global Positioning System navigation, and even daydreaming", DHSMV notes.

Under current Washington law, it's illegal to text or hold your phone to your ear while driving. "Use of handheld devices has been a motor vehicle violation for some time, but (cellphones) have become such a large part of most people's lives, they find it hard to put down, even when driving".

Officers will be enforcing phone and texting laws, as well as other vehicle violations, including Assembly Bill 1785, which prohibits the use of wireless communication or use of Global Positioning System unless the device is voice operated, hands-free, installed in the auto console or mounted to the vehicle's dashboard.

Officers will be looking for those drivers with their cell phones in their hands on the freeways. "If you get three in 18 months, your maximum fine is $450, the minimum stays the same".

Inform family and friends you'll be driving and unable to call or text.

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But distracted driving and the increasing use of smartphones are also being pin-pointed as potential factors. "U Pay" campaign is being carried out in April because the National Safety Council has designated it as District Driving Awareness Month.

AAA research has found that the cognitive distraction of a conversation and using technology is more risky than first thought, and may distract drivers up to 27 seconds after they hang up the phone.

"This data makes it clear that distracted driving is one of the most urgent public safety problems facing our communities today", said Hari Balakrishnan, chief technology officer of CMT. "Phone" and "Texting or Emailing" were listed as distractions for 23% of all distracted drivers, but while it may not be number one, using a phone is especially unsafe.

"People are less and less present in what they're doing because these phones take their attention away", said Jeff Larason, the state's director of highway safety. Furthermore, 10 percent of all drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal collisions were reported as distracted at the time of the collisions. "We can avoid that - we just have to turn our phones off and turn safety on", Ward said.

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