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1,200 Cell Phone Related Crashes Since Hands-Free Law, CHP Says

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Photo by Jim Legans, Jr via Flickr


Photo by Jim Legans, Jr via Flickr
California's hands-free cell phone went into effect two years ago, but the latest statistics from the California Highway Patrol show that there is much room for improvement. In the last two years, there have been 1,200 collisions statewide where "a contributing factor was inattention by the driver due to cell phone usage," said the department.

Of those crashes, 16 people died and 850 were injured.

“Many people were accustomed to using cell phones while driving before the law took effect, and it may be difficult for some people to change this practice,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “However, we all need to try hard to obey this law since driving is a complex task, requiring a motorist’s full attention. Even a moment of inattention can have disastrous consequences for a driver and those around them.”

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Statewide, 244,000 citations handed out by CHP officers have been issued for the hands-free law. That number does not include local policing agencies.