Don’t text and drive – or a ticket is sure to follow.
La Mesa police officers issued 46 traffic tickets Friday morning to distracted drivers who were either talking on their cell phones or texting behind the wheel.
The roadside crackdown was took place over a six-hour period in La Mesa.
It was part of a “Traffic Safety Enforcement Program” operation aimed at keeping local streets safe by aggressively enforcing the state’s “Distracted Driving” laws. By bringing awareness to the
hazards of texting and driving, officials hope to reduce deaths and injuries on local roadways.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles website, the base fine for the first texting while driving offense is $20, and $50 for subsequent convictions. With penalty assessments, the DMV says the fine can be more than triple the base fine amount.
The DMV website says driving distractions – including cell phone use – are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near-crashes.
According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 80 percent of crashes involve some sort of driver distraction.
Funding for Friday’s operation in La Mesa was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A similar crackdown this past January resulted in La Mesa police officers issuing 42 tickets to distracted drivers who were talking or texting on their phones while driving. Chula Vista police conducted their own Distracted Driving Operation in January too, which yielded tickets for 35 drivers using their phones behind the wheel.