Deputies Target SCV Distracted Drivers; 33 Citations Issued in 1 Day

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station now has a motorcycle detail of six deputies. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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SOURCE:  Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station now has a motorcycle detail of five deputies and one sergeant. According to Motor Sergeant William Lynch, the Motor Units has a mission – to significantly reduce traffic collisions, injuries, and deaths in the City of Santa Clarita.

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., three Motor Unit deputies worked a Distracted Driving Enforcement Operation in Santa Clarita that resulted in 33 tickets being issued to motorists for violating the state law that prohibits the holding and/or operating of a cell phone while driving. First time offense tickets started at a minimum of $160, while subsequent offenses started at a minimum of $285. The operation was funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Drivers are prohibited from holding and operating their phones for any purpose — unless the device is mounted to a dashboard or windshield. Even then, it must be activated with only one finger tap or swipe. This law covers all smartphone uses, including mapping applications and music playlists.  If the device is used in a hands-free manner, such as speaker phone or voice commands, that is legal, but never while holding it.

SCV Sheriff’s Traffic Sergeant Scott Shoemaker, urges motorist to go a step further when it comes to road safety, “Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving, even if it’s hands-free.”

According to the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), in 2016 more than 54% of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was talking or texting on cell phone.

“If you need to make a call or send a text, wait until you stop in a safe place. Turn off all notifications on your phone when you get in the car, so that you are not tempted to check a text message, or someone’s Facebook status,” added Sgt. Shoemaker.

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