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Independent Voice

CHP Focused on Tackling Distracted Driving Epidemic

Nov 15, 2023 12:21PM ● By CHP News Release

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – Every year, thousands of people are seriously injured or killed statewide in vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers – crashes that are 100% preventable. To address the problem, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is launching a statewide “Distracted Driving Education and Enforcement for Adult Drivers” traffic safety campaign, boosted by a $350,000 federal grant.

The yearlong education and enforcement initiative continues through Sept. 30, 2024. Throughout the year, the CHP will conduct at least 90 enforcement operations targeting adult distracted drivers.  In parallel with a CHP program targeted at teen drivers, the adult distracted driving campaign also includes 300 adult traffic safety presentations statewide.

“The CHP encourages drivers to make the conscious decision to drive distraction free every time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “Every distraction, even for just a few seconds, increases your chances of being involved in a crash. Ultimately, it is never worth the potentially devastating consequences.”

With multiple modes of communication and instant entertainment, cell phone use is the biggest driver distraction. Between 2019 and 2021, there were a total of 6,343 fatal and injury crashes within CHP jurisdiction stemming from distracted driving. During those same years, CHP officers issued more than 200,000 citations to drivers violating California’s handsfree law.

Some of the most common types of adult distracted driving includes texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, grooming, operating a navigation system, and adjusting the radio.

Public education and increased enforcement are designed to encourage drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this reckless, preventable behavior.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.