Pasadena police cracking down on distracted drivers

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April has been named Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Pasadena Police Department is joining officers statewide in stepping up enforcement and handing out tickets. (KABC)

April has been named Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Pasadena Police Department is joining officers statewide in stepping up enforcement and handing out tickets.

"Everyday, they (drivers) try to hide it from officers as much as they can," said Lt. Bill Grisafe with the Pasadena Police Department. "Especially during the nighttime you can see that bright glowing light off their face."

Even 10 years after "hands-free" became law in California, drivers and pedestrians say they see people behind the wheel using their phones on a regular basis.

"I think a lot of it is like GPS or people just texting," said Arturo Rodriguez of Pasadena.

He's nearly been hit by distracted drivers while walking.

"When I'm trying to cross the street and people are going to turn, I always stop because I know they're not paying attention," he said.

Enforcement appears to be working. In 2017, 249,000 cellphone convictions were handed out, according to the California DMV and OTS Safety. That's down dramatically from the 476,000 handed out in 2013.

Distracted driving collisions are also down since the law took effect.

Now, even holding your phone while behind the wheel and using a mapping or navigation app is illegal.

"You are able to use the phone for navigation purposes, but they do need to be displayed up near the windshield," said Grisafe.

Officers say if you receive a text or need to send one, pull over and park in a safe location. You can also designate a passenger in the car as the person who handles the phone.

For those addicted to their devices, they recommend putting them in the trunk or back seat of the car until you reach your destination.
Related Topics:
trafficdistracted drivingdrivingtraffic stopPasadenaLos Angeles County
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