CALIFORNIA—The Office of Traffic Safety of California is partnering with San Francisco Police Department, California Highway Patrol, local law enforcement and community partners across the state to work together towards eliminating distracted driving. Recognizing April as Driver’s Safety awareness month, these organizations aim to make the roads safer by raising awareness against the distractions cellphones can create, while driving.
Earlier this year in January, a new California law went into effect which restricted all usage of cellphones while driving. Assembly Bill 1785, required all drivers to keep their cellphones out of their hands while operating a motor vehicle. According to the bill, drivers were allowed phone usage only if the cellular device was mounted onto the vehicle’s dashboards.
Authorities plan to raise awareness among drivers who are not familiar with the new California law. The idea is to make all drivers aware that starting January 2017, all usage of handheld devices or mobile phones, while driving is illegal. Violators of the law are subjected to a ticket of $20 and the fines can increase up to $50 for repeat violators.
The campaign aims to end all distracted driving – which includes texting, calling and use of other apps on the phone – by educating the drivers of the associated dangers of distracted driving. The goal is to change motorists behaviors and save lives, not just in the month of April , but year-round. The campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.