Police in Sonoma County in California in the United States have issued over four hundred tickets to drivers using their cell phones while operating their motor vehicle in the space of just five days. The great majority of the tickets were issued over just two days in what is a large crackdown on the illegal use of cell phones while driving being carried out throughout the state of California all across the month of April in what is being termed “Distracted Drive Awareness Month’.
Each ticket ends up costing the driver concerned a hundred and fifty-nine US dollars providing it is their first such offense. Anyone who has received a ticket before for using a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle will find themselves stuck with a ticket costing them two hundred and seventy nine dollars.
Around ten to twenty drivers who were caught using a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle only received a warning. Those tended to be either tourists from other states who were unaware of the law or local citizens who turned out to have a good reason, such as some kind of genuine emergency, for using their cell phones while driving. In Sonoma County at least, the crackdown appears to be working, with no tickets issued on Sunday, according to Sgt Spencer Crum. “So far it looks like people are getting the message,” Crum notes with satisfaction.
Statistics have shown that drivers operating cell phones are four times more likely to have an accident than other drivers.