Pasadena Enforce Distracted Driving Laws


In Pasadena, California, the police department is actively enforcing the state's hands-free cell phone law during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which occurs in April. Using a phone while driving is both dangerous and illegal, according to Lieutenant Anthony Russo of the Pasadena Police Department. He advises drivers to prepare their devices for hands-free use or place them in a location where they will not be tempted to use them before starting their car.

According to the 2022 California Statewide Public Opinion Survey, 72% of drivers surveyed said that texting while driving was their biggest safety concern. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued nearly 56,000 citations for distracted driving in 2021. Current law prohibits drivers from holding a phone or electronic communications device while driving, including talking, texting, or using an app. Violating the hands-free law can result in a fine, and a second offense within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver's record.

If drivers need to make an important phone call, text, or email, or if they are in a situation with other distractions, they should pull over to a safe parking spot. Other distractions can include eating, grooming, reaching for something that fell on the floor, putting on or taking off clothing, talking with passengers, or attending to children in the back seat. Funding for distracted driving enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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