Lodi police and other law enforcement agencies will have zero tolerance for drivers who text or operate hand-held cellphones during April. The minimum ticket cost is $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $279.
Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk. As a result, law enforcement throughout the state, including Lodi police, are increasing their crackdown. More than 225 local agencies and the California Highway Patrol will conduct zero tolerance enforcements.
The Galt Police Department is also among the agencies using special enforcement in April, according to Sgt. Chuck Diedrickson.
"We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously," Lodi police Sgt. Chris Jacobson said in a news release. "Cellphone use and texting while driving is such a serious concern that we are putting officers on the road to enforce zero tolerance. Is that text message or cellphone call really worth $159?"
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, Jacobson said. Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years of age have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver's reaction time as severely as having a blood-alcohol content of a legally drunk driver, Jacobson said.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.