SACRAMENTO - A whopping 60,800 tickets were issued to distracted California drivers in April 2012, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).
A cooperative effort between the California Highway Patrol and 265 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state tallied 57,000 tickets for driving while using a handheld cell phone or texting, and another 3,800 for additional distracted driving violations which could include eating, grooming, programming a GPS, and other functions.
The number is up 16,800 from April 2011 when 52,000 citations were issued for distracted driving.
"Unfortunately, we're seeing that the problem of cell phone use for talking and texting while driving is not going away anytime soon," said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. "There are those who understand the dangers and have curtailed their use, while others think the hazards apply to everyone else but them. We can't stop until we convince everyone that they are putting their own life and others around them at risk with this perilous behavior."
A statewide observational survey conducted by the OTS supported Murhpy's claims. More than 10 percent of drivers were witnessed talking or texting while driving during the survey, which translates to hundreds of thousands of distracted drives on California roadways at any given time.
The crackdown was part of the second annual "It's Not Worth It! campaign and National Driving Awareness month.