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April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.. Ooh Shiny!

Photo by TSA Photography via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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The State of California, the California Highway Patrol AND the Los Angeles Police Department are totally pissed at you. You, being the millions of drivers who gave them the cell phone equivalent of a middle finger by ignoring warnings about distracted driving. As a result, we're all grounded. Welcome to zero-tolerance Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Increased enforcement for cell phone and texting violations will go into effect on Monday, April 4 as CHP and local police ramp up a monthlong, statewide effort to crack down on distracted driving.

Notes the LAPD,

"Despite legislation prohibiting drivers from texting or using their cell phones without hands free technology, the practice continues throughout the State of California. In an effort to increase public safety and raise awareness, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During California’s first Distracted Driving Awareness Month, law enforcement agencies throughout Los Angeles will have zero tolerance for cell phone use and texting. Studies have revealed that drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to be involved in serious traffic collision that results in injuries. Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 years have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. The studies have further shown that texting while driving delays a driver’s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a drunk driver."

To reduce risk, officials suggest the following:
  • Turn off your phone or put it out of reach before starting the car.
  • Alert callers that you are unable to receive calls when driving by changing your voicemail message.
  • Make it a point not to call or text anyone who may be driving, such as during the commute to and from work or school, especially parents calling teen drivers.
  • If you do need to make an important call or respond to a text message, pull over to a safe place to do so.
  • If going cold turkey is too much of a stretch and you just can’t turn your phone off, consider using one of the available mobile phone applications that holds calls and incoming texts.
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