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Law Enforcement Beginning A Month Long Crackdown On Distracted Driving

AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli

A driver uses her mobile phone while sitting in traffic Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.

AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli

A statewide campaign to end distracted driving has law enforcement on the lookout starting July.

Last year, more than half of California drivers said they had been hit or nearly hit by someone talking or texting on their phone.

Distracted driving was blamed for more than 3,000 deaths nationwide in 2013.

Getting caught texting or holding a cell phone in your hand while driving could cost you a $161 fine.

Stockton Police Officer Joe Silva says it’s more than just texting or holding the phone while talking.

He says anything that takes your hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road can include eating, drinking, or having the dog on your lap while you drive.

“And if you have your eyes off the road, you’re not going to be able to see those people or stop for that stop sign. And that’s when we see the unfortunate traffic collisions occur,” says Silva.

The law is even stricter for minors.

“Any driver under the age of 18 cannot use a cell phone, not handheld, hands-free, Bluetooth, speaker phone, or by any other means," says Silva. 

And Silva says officers will be especially vigilant on the 7th, 10th, 12th, 24th, and 25th of this month.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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