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National Distracted Driving Awareness Month a Focus in Culver City

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Culver City Police Department is ramping up their focus on distracted drivers in an attempt to make roads safer. Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, supports their efforts.

Culver City Police Officers, along with the California Office of Traffic Safety and the California Highway Patrol, are cracking down on all types of distractions but are especially focusing on illegal cell phone use. According to Rhonda Craft, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety, “Law enforcement would rather see everyone off their cell phones than hand out a lot of tickets. Take care of calling, texting, setting your GPS and everything else before you hit the street.”

Throughout the month of April the CCPD will partner with other law enforcement agencies to provide educational experiences and “zero-tolerance enforcement” in order to encourage safe driving. Officers hope that drivers will police themselves and will voluntarily comply with existing laws. Citations will be given if the situation calls for it though.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,400 people were killed and around 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers in 2015.   That is a 9% increase from 2014.

Distracted driving is a growing problem in California and lawmakers want to reverse the trend. Assembly Bill 1785 went into effect January 1st of this year. It requires all drivers to use hands-free devices when using their cellphones. Phones must stay out of the drivers’ hands and can only be activated or deactivated with a swipe or tap as long as the cell phone is properly mounted.

The Office of Traffic Safety wants to make sure that drivers know that nearly all hand-held cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle is now illegal. This includes talking, texting, and using apps.

The Culver City Police Department will be deploying extra officers this month to help manage the new focus. Grant-funded resources will allow more police officers to monitor locations with historically higher numbers of traffic collisions. Violators will be stopped and cited. Fines for first-time offenders are set at $162. People with multiple offenses will face stiffer penalties.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, hopes that everyone will be more aware of their surroundings while driving and will take the time to make sure they are in compliance with all driving laws. Culver City Real Estate is a great place to look for a home and citizens who drive safely help keep it that way.