BHPD Looking For Distracted Drivers In April

April 3, 2024 ·

Using a cellphone while driving is against the law in the state of California. Photo courtesy of Jonas Lee via Unsplash.

BEVERLY HILLS—On Monday, April 2, the Beverly Hills Police Department announced in a news release that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The BHPD will be actively looking for drivers throughout the month who are in violation of the state’s hands-free cell phone law.

“In today’s fast-paced life, it is common to lose focus while driving,” Chief Mark G. Stainbrook said. “Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a crucial reminder that even a moment of inattention or a quick glance at the phone can lead to serious consequences. Let’s get off our apps and keep our eyes on the road. Before starting the car, silence your phone or put it in the glove box, trunk or back seat. Anywhere you can’t reach.”

The BHPD reported that according to the 2023 California Statewide Public Opinion Survey, more than 74 percent of drivers surveyed said that distracted driving because of texting was their biggest safety concern. In 2021, there were at least 140 people killed in distracted driving traffic crashes in the state. The numbers could be underreported because law enforcement officers may not always be able to tell that distraction was a factor in a crash.

Under current law, drivers are not allowed to hold a phone or electronic communications device while operating a vehicle, even when stopped at a red light. This includes talking, texting or using an app. Using a handheld cell phone while driving is punishable by a fine, and violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.

Motorists are asked to pull over to a safe parking spot if they have to take a call, text or email. The BH Police Department noted other distractions can be eating, grooming, reaching for something that fell on the floor, putting on or taking off clothing, talking with passengers, or children in the back seat.

By Trevor

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