Sheriff’s deputies to conduct distracted driving enforcement

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: A deputy patrols in the Santa Clarita Valley. Lorena Mejia / The Signal.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department scheduled a distracted driving enforcement operation in the Santa Clarita area for Tuesday, officials said Sunday.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is planning to send additional deputies on patrol to look for drivers on their cellphones, violating the state’s hands-free cell phone law. 

The operation is designed to enforce the law, which makes it illegal for people to hold their phones while driving, whether talking, texting or using an app.

“Distracted driving is a serious issue, but one that can be easily solved simply by putting the phone down,” Sgt. Robert Hill of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in a prepared statement. “That text, phone call, email or social media post can wait.”  

Those pulled over are expected to be subject to a $157 fine for the first offense.

Other distractions include eating, grooming, talking to passengers, using GPS, adjusting the radio, taking off a jacket, reaching for an object on the floor or navigating a vehicle’s in-dash touchscreen. 

Those who have to answer an important phone call or program directions should pull over to a safe parking spot. Officials also encourage drivers to either silence their phones or put them somewhere they can’t reach before driving. 

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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