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Police Target Distracted Drivers

Elk Grove Police want to curb driving while texting, talking on cell phones

Drivers, put away the phones.

Starting today, Elk Grove Police officers will be patrolling the streets for drivers who are talking on their cell phones or texting as part of a regional effort to curb distracted driving.

“It’s just a proactive effort to make sure motorists understand that the law is there for their safety,” Elk Grove Police Department spokesman Christopher Trim said. “It’s part of an on-going project with various other law enforcement agencies in Sacramento County.”

Distracted driving includes any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from operating a vehicle, but usually involves talking on the phone or texting, according to Trim.

Several states, including California, have laws that prohibit texting while driving.

Earlier this year, an 18-year-old Utah State University student was killed when the car she was driving hit a truck just moments after she updated her Facebook status. Now, her parents are pushing to make driving while texting illegal in their home state of Idaho.

Nationwide, 5,474 people were killed in 2009 and roughly 448,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted driving, according to the National Transportation Safety Administration.

In Sacramento County, the fine for a first time texting or hand-held cell phone violation is $166.00.

DoneWithIt March 07, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I find this article very funny as I live in Elk Grove and see the POLICE driving and using their cell phones all the time. In my mind this is like having the fox watch the hen house. I think that I will start filming them doing so and report them to their commanders and see if they get a ticket too.
Lucky Charms March 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I agree. They not only talk on the phone, they use a computer while driving...faster than the speed limits allow here in town. The article say's; "Any" distraction....that's an awful large window of interpretation isn't it? If texting and not using a hands free device is against the law, then let that be it. This "any" distraction thing is crap. Officer's blatantly chattting on phones held up to their ears and whipping around town like speed racer is just BS as well.
Rodney March 07, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Is a police car an "emergency vehicle"? If so, it looks like they may be exempt from the law. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc23123.htm "(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties." I've noticed the same thing, but I just saw a tweet about the law and read the policy on the DMV website. Not sure if/how it applies to police on their cells, but I thought I'd pass it along here :)

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