MOUNTAIN AREA — If you’re talking on your cell phone, putting on makeup or reaching for something in the back seat, you are guilty of distracted driving, and the CHP will be on the lookout for you.
The month of April has been designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will use this opportunity to raise awareness statewide of the dangers of distracted driving.
The CHP will join law enforcement agencies throughout the state to conduct zero tolerance education and enforcement efforts aimed at distracted drivers. Officers will enforce hand-held cellular telephone and texting laws as well as other vehicle code violations.
Statewide education and enforcement efforts will be conducted Apr. 7 through Apr. 20. Oakhurst Area CHP will conduct zero tolerance enforcement efforts throughout this time frame.
“Distracted driving is the traffic safety challenge of our generation,” said Lt. Jason Daughrity, Oakhurst Area Commander. “Just as reducing driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and increasing seat belt use required a strong combination of education and enforcement to effect culture change, so too will stop distracted driving. It is our job to keep the community and roadways clear and safe of any distracted driving, and we will be out in full force in attempt to stop the epidemic that has resulted in so many traffic collisions and fatalities.”
The CHP is partnering with Impact Teen Drivers and the California Office of Traffic Safety to host a statewide press event during the first week of April, with an emphasis on teen distracted driving for California Teen Safe Driving Week.
The Office of Community Outreach and Media Relations (COMR) will distribute a statewide press release detailing the enforcement operations. Areas are encouraged to reinforce the educational component of the distracted driving awareness campaign through press events with allied agencies, ride-alongs, appearances on morning news shows, writing editorial columns for the local newspaper, social media, etc.
The Office of COMR will provide public information officers with social media and traffic reporting messages to assist them with publicity efforts during April.