Distracted Driving Enforcement Effort Yields 38 Citations in Simi Valley

On July 26, 2017, the Simi Valley Police Department Traffic Bureau conducted a Distracted Driving Enforcement Effort with grant funds from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Five Police Officers and one Police Sergeant were deployed throughout the city looking for drivers who were violating the law by talking, texting or holding their portable electronic devices. 

During the 5-hour period of enforcement, 47 vehicles were stopped for various traffic infractions. 37 citations were issued to drivers. Using a cell phone and driving can be extremely dangerous. Some experts have testified that texting and driving is the equivalent of being impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. 

• It is illegal to hold and use a cell phone while texting, calling or using the apps while driving. It must be affixed to the vehicle, may be operated in hands free mode using voice activation, or used with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger. (California Vehicle Code) 

Some statistical data: 
• In total, 7.6% of all drivers observed in a 2016 study displayed distracted driving as a result of electronic device use, compared to 5.4% in 2015. The change marks a 2.2% increase. (CA Statewide Observational Survey of Cell Phone & Texting Use by Drivers) 

• In 2015, 59.6% of California drivers surveyed stated that they have been hit or nearly hit by a driver talking or texting. (California Traffic Safety Survey) 

• In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. (Distraction.gov) 

• In 2014, ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. (NHTSA) 

Distracted Driving Quick Facts 
• Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute) 

• Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. These include texting, talking on a cell phone, grooming, using a navigation system, reading (including maps), and adjusting a radio, CD or MP3 player – just to name a few. (Distraction.gov) 

• Sending or receiving a text may be quick, but texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction simultaneously. (Distraction.gov) 

• The youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk of distracted driving dangers, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20. (Distraction.gov) 

• 73% of drivers 18 to 20 years old admit to texting while driving. (NHTSA) 

The Simi Valley Police Department wants to remind everyone that getting to your destination and home to family safely is the most important thing to consider when choosing to drive with a phone in the car. Please spread the message to your friends, families and teenage drivers so we can continue to live, work and play in a safe community.

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