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.
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
• 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
• 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.