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News Worms


California Law Enforcement and Communities Band Together to Stop Distracted Driving

California Law Enforcement and Communities Band Together to Stop Distracted Driving

Police are stepping up distracted driving enforcement this month as part of a national campaign.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

"The message is out, and people know that distracted driving is risky", said Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers.

During 2016, distracted driving crashes accounted for more than 3,500 serious bodily injuries and 233 fatalities - and distracted driving crashes in the state have increased 26 percent since 2013, the agency reports.

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There were nearly 50,000 crashes in Florida previous year that involved distracted driving, and they accounted for more than 3,500 serious bodily injuries and 233 fatalities.

In 2014, citings for illegal cell phone use while driving increased 197 percent, says the WTSC. "If you text, dial, or read a message on your phone while driving, you are endangering the lives of those around you, and you will be stopped", said Chief of Police Peter DiMatteo. AAA's annual Traffic Safety Culture Index released earlier this year, found young millennials are the riskiest drivers, with two in three drivers admitting to talking on a cellphone while driving.

The average respond time while texting can take up to 5 seconds, which is enough time to drive the length of a football field.

So do everyone a favor, including yourself - put the phone aside, keep eyes on the road and better ensure you and others make it safely to your destination.

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"It's really tempting to when that cell phone is laying in the seat beside you, and you hear it ding, to pick it up and see who sent you a text", said State Farm Insurance agent, Jim Garrison. "You have to realize this is a city, and we have children and pedestrians who are out playing and walking, and you're driving a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds".

The joint effort will run through the month of April. Motorists caught for general inattentive driving such as applying makeup or reading are fined $115.

Local police urge residents to remind family and friends to never text and drive.

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