April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Watsonville Police Department encourages drivers to give the phone a break and focus on the road.
Throughout the month of April, the Watsonville Police Department will have additional officers on patrol specifically looking for drivers who violate the state’s hands-free cell phone law.
“When you are driving, give the phone a rest,” Sergeant Donny Thul said. “A driver’s number one focus should be on the road. Anything that distracts you from the task of driving, especially a phone, puts yourself and others at risk.”
According to the 2020 California Statewide Public Opinion Survey, more than 75% of surveyed drivers listed “Distracted Driving because of TEXTING” as their biggest safety concern.
“Not driving distracted is a simple, but significant behavior change,” Sergeant Donny Thul said. “The goal is to increase compliance with the hands-free cell phone law and keep people safe.”
Under current law, drivers are not allowed to hold a phone or other electronic device while behind the wheel. Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use a phone for any reason, including hands-free.
If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over and park at a safe location. Drivers should silence their phones or put the phone out of reach, such as the glove box or trunk.
Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.