The state of California passed its law requiring hands-free operation of mobile phones while driving over two years ago, but a recent statement from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) says that many California drivers have been largely ignoring the ban.
"Many people were accustomed to using cell phones while driving before the law took effect, and it may be difficult for some people to change this practice," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "However, we all need to try hard to obey this law since driving is a complex task, requiring a motorist's full attention. Even a moment of inattention can have disastrous consequences for a driver and those around them."
Cell phones are the leading contributing factor to distraction-related traffic accidents in the state of California. According to the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System data, since the inception of the hands-free law, there have been more than 1,200 collisions throughout the state where a contributing factor was the driver at fault being distracted by a cell phone. Those same collisions resulted in 16 fatalities and more than 850 victims injured.
Since the law went into effect in 2008, officers have issued more than 244,000 tickets statewide to motorists who were in violation of the hands-free law.
"Too many motorists have been injured or died because of inattention while driving," said Farrow. "Drivers need to put down the phone and focus on driving; otherwise it may cost you your life, or the life of your loved ones."
[via Automotive Fleet]
Photo courtesy of Cyril Caton and re-used under the Creative Commons license.