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Published on April 02, 2024
Riverside County Sheriff's Office Intensifies Focus on Distracted Driving for Awareness MonthSource: Facebook/Riverside County Sheriff's Office

In an effort to clamp down on distracted driving, Riverside County Sheriff's Office is turning up the heat on California drivers who can't keep their hands off their phones this month. April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and law enforcement means business. According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, patrols in Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, and Norco will be on high alert for violations of the state's hands-free cell phone legislation.

Deputy Brian Parham highlighted the risks of modern distractions, "In today’s fast-paced life, it is common to lose focus while driving," he conveyed. Underpinning his concerns with a stark warning, "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." The stats back him up, with a 2023 California Statewide Public Opinion Survey revealing that a whopping 74% of drivers see texting and driving as their top safety worry. In 2021, California grieved the loss of at least 140 lives due to distracted driving incidents, and those are just the ones we know about.

Distractive multi-tasking behind the wheel is a no-go, with the current law forbidding drivers from handling a phone or any electronic communication gadgets while driving – that's a resounding no to calls, texts, and app scrolling even at a red light. So, before you drive, be wise – stow that phone away, and keep your eyes street-side.

The advice is you should an urgent call or text beckon, or if you find yourself grappling with directions, grooming or the lure of a roadside meal – pull over safely first then attend to business. These distractions can also include reaching for items, managing your wardrobe in transit, or breaking up a backseat sibling rivalry. Funding for the crackdown comes from a grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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