What Cell Phone Law?

Even though it is illegal, San Diegans can’t hang up on their habit of driving while on the phone.  While no one has formally assessed how well the ban is working, North County law enforcement agencies said they have issued more than 1,000 tickets.

According to a report in the North County Times, the following citations have been handed out since the law took effect July 1:

  • Carlsbad Police Department: 43 citations and 36 warnings, as of Nov. 1
  • CHP Oceanside station: 576, as of mid-November
  • Encinitas Sheriff's station (serving Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar): 263, as of mid-November
  • Escondido Police Department: 222, as of Nov. 1
  • Oceanside Police Department: 238, as of mid-November
  • Poway Sheriff's Station: 146, as of mid-November
  • San Marcos Sheriff's Station: 32, as of mid-November
  • Vista Sheriff's Station: 95, as of Oct. 31

C.J. Hardman of Rancho Bernardo told the Times she tries to follow the law, but sometimes cheats. But sometimes, when her phone rings while she's driving, she picks it up. After all, it could be her daughter's school or something urgent.

"I understand it's my responsibility as a citizen to be safe and aware while I'm driving, and I don't want to be a scofflaw," Hardman said. "But then the reality of life kicks in."

As of mid-November, the CHP had written 576 tickets for talking on a hand-held phone on North County freeways and in unincorporated areas, the Times reported.

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