CHP vows to pursue campaign to stop distracted driving

Helped by federal grant funding, the California Highway Patrol vowed Friday to stick to its mission of combating distracted driving.

After a year-long statewide campaign, the CHP announced it will continue working with the California Office of Traffic Safety to vigorously address the issue of distracted driving — texting, talking on the phone —  by changing the habits of adult drivers through educational and enforcement efforts.

The Adult Distracted Drivers campaign began Oct.  1, funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CHP officers taking part in the program are expected to carry out at least 100 distracted driving enforcement operations and conduct at least 600 traffic safety presentations statewide. 

The tagline of the CHP news release reads: Simply changing driving habits can help stop distracted driving.

“Our goal with this grant is to educate the public about the hazards associated with distracted driving,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley was quoted as saying in the news release.

“The CHP will continue to encourage drivers to discontinue the deadly habit so everyone can reach their destination safely,” he reportedly said.

Each year, distracted drivers kill or injure thousands of people, according to the CHP, noting in the release: “Distracted driving is a habit that can be broken.”

It’s hoped that the campaign reminds drivers about the likelihood of being involved in an automobile accident increases dramatically if they drive distracted.

“Cell phones are the top distraction for drivers because they have become central to daily life,” according to the CHP news release. 

Steering, braking and focusing on the roadway are priorities while driving. 

“A person trying to drive and use a cell phone at the same time cannot do either very well. Texting while driving results in longer reaction times than drunk driving.  When driving, your attention must be on safety,” Stanley added. “Nothing on that phone is worth endangering your life or anyone else’s.”
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