April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the California Highway Patrol, California Office of Traffic Safety and Impact Teen Drivers are working together to remind drivers about the dangers of not giving the road their full attention when behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,142 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2019 across the country. That same year in California, there were at least 18,698 crashes from distracted driving that resulted in 108 deaths and more than 13,500 injuries.
“Driving safely requires your full attention,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray in a press release. “Distractions put you and others on the road at risk. Together, with our traffic safety partners, enforcement, and the cooperation of the motoring public, we can save lives and eliminate this dangerous behavior on California’s roadways.”
Beginning July 1, a violation for using a handheld cellular phone or texting while driving will result in a fine and also add a point to the driver’s record for each violation occurring within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense.
In addition to cellular phones, distractions can include other electronics, children, pets, and eating or drinking while driving, according to CHP.