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Police to step up enforcement for distracted driving on April 15 

Atascadero Police Department to step up enforcement for distracted drivers

The Atascadero Police Department is deploying extra traffic enforcement officers on Wednesday, April 15, in an effort to help stop distracted driving.Atascadero Police

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured nationwide in crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, eleven percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes, according to the police department.

At any given daylight moment across America, there are about 660,000 drivers using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. The Atascadero Police Department is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use, according to the police department.

In a national survey, almost half (48 percent) of drivers say they answer their cell phones while driving at least some of the time, and more than half of those (58 percent) continue to drive after answering the call. In September of 2014, four Atascadero Police Department surveys revealed that 14 percent of motorists in Atascadero were using their cell phone while operating their vehicle.

The Atascadero Police Department recommends the following safety measures:

• Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive
• Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task

Parents can:
• Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving
• If you know your teen is on the road – don’t call or text them until you know they have reached their destination

Employers can:
• Adopt, publicize, and enforce company policies that prohibit employees from texting or talking on hand-held cell phones while in a company vehicle, or in a personal vehicle while using a company issued cell phone.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.

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