April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The Torrance Police Department will be partnering with other law enforcement agencies statewide to spread awareness about Distracted Driving. The Torrance Police Department will staff additional officers on April 4th and April 19th to educate drivers and enforce California’s hands-free cell phone law. Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicates 66 people were killed and over 6,500 were injured in 2017 from distracted driving-related crashes. A 2018 observational survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) indicates about 4.5% of drivers are currently violating the hands-free cell phone law, which is a 27% spike from 2016.
“Cell phones remain one of the top distractions for drivers. Everything can change in just one second – that text or phone call will never be worth getting hurt or even losing a life over,” said Torrance Police Department Sergeant David Koenig. “First-time offenders can face a $162.00 fine. Drive safely, our lives depend on it!”
To comply with the cell phone law, drivers can only operate their device in a hands-free manner. Phones can be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or center console. Devices can only be touched once with a swipe or tap to activate or deactivate a function. If you need to make a call or text, please safely pull over and park.
Lieutenant Jeremiah Hart
Traffic and Special Events Division Commander
Torrance Police Department
3300 Civic Center Dr
Torrance, CA 90503