CHP Cracks Down on Texting Drivers - NBC 7 San Diego

CHP Cracks Down on Texting Drivers

Drivers will learn the hard way to obey the law



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    FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2011 file photo, a phone is held in a car in Brunswick, Maine. Texting while driving increased 50 percent last year and two out of 10 drivers say they've sent text messages or emails while behind the wheel despite a rush by states to ban the practice, the National Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)

    It's something many of us are guilty of doing -- talking and texting while driving.

    However, on Monday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol announced they are cracking on distracted driving.

    One woman learned about the crackdown the hard way Monday after she was pulled over for talking on her cell phone without a hands-free device.

    "It was my first time," said one ticketed driver. "It wasn't my phone. It was my husband's phone. So when someone called from work. I thought maybe it was important."

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    So she answered it, and was pulled over.

    Officials say drivers on cell phones are four times more likely to get into accidents. Texting while driving is the equivalent of driving with a .08 blood alcohol content.

    If you're caught, the fines are not cheap. A minimum...of $159 for a first offense and $279 for a second offense. Sergeant Scott Hill says distracted drivers know the law.

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    "It's not hard to find them and that's the sad part about this," he said. "The word is out there. When I'm in my police car and people see me, you see phones dropping like hot potatoes. So people know they are not supposed to be on the phones." 

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