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1 in 10 CA drivers is using cellphone, study says

May 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Several studies show that texting or talking while driving leads to accidents, but motorists are still doing it. In fact, new research shows they're doing it more than ever.

Whether they're dialing or texting or updating their Facebook status, drivers are distracted and what they're doing is against the law.

A recent study by the California Office of Traffic Safety says the number of distracted drivers is on the rise. In fact, 10 percent of drivers are on their phones at any given time.

Burbank resident Dan Garza said his wife once saw a woman steering a car with her feet while she used both hands to use her cellphone.

"It had to have been her left leg that she was actually using to steer while she was texting," Garza said. "Go figure."

Law enforcement is cracking down. In April, the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies handed out a record number of citations. In all they wrote up 57,000 tickets - 1,600 went to drivers in the Inland Empire, 1,500 in Orange County and more than 8,000 to Los Angeles County.

"The crazy thing is that everyone knows about it because they're warning their friends to stay off the phone when the police are around," CHP Officer Sylvia Vargas said.

Talking or texting while driving could cause an accident. Getting busted for talking or texting can take a heavy toll on a driver's pocketbook. A citation can cost anywhere from $200 to $300.


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