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Deputies out in Force This Month, Looking for Drivers who Text

The campaign will also target those who talk by cell phone without hands-free device.

Four days this month, the Orange County Sheriff's Department will send out extra deputies to patrol for people texting and driving. Patch file photo.
Four days this month, the Orange County Sheriff's Department will send out extra deputies to patrol for people texting and driving. Patch file photo.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies will be cracking down this month on those who text and drive or talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device. 

Highly visible enforcement teams will cite the violators on Thursday, April 8, 17 and 22, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department.

The department is joining 200 others in a “zero-tolerance” campaign as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“The increased enforcement aims to persuade drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this perilous behavior,” says a news release.

“We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously,” said Deputy Shane Stewart of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Bureau. “We see the aftermath of these totally preventable crashes. Is that text message or cell phone call really worth $161, or worse, someone’s life?”

Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to the sheriff’s department.

In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver’s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver, says the news release. According to research, sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. 

"Even a three second glance at freeway speeds means a driver has traveled the distance of a football field," according to OCSD.

Rocky Neidhardt April 02, 2014 at 03:03 AM
Bring back SCPD ! :)
OldTimer April 02, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Matt, thank you for clarifying your earlier comment. Now I understand your viewpoint much better. I think there are alot of people who think like you do. In fact, I know there are since entire states have banned DUI checkpoints on constitutional grounds. Many people who understand history and the way powerful governments evolve are leary of the 'slippery slope' syndrome - by which onerous and consuming laws tend to build upon one another. How many new ones are enacted each year in California alone? 1000? Your comments on the SCOTUS are very observant. Look at their ruling on the ObamaCare mandate....that the Commerce Clause did not apply. This, of course, leaves the door open for government to mandate a tax on any behavior that it wishes to promote - and you must pay it (like it or not) or deal with the government enforcement arm. Unfortunately the SCOTUS has become highly politicized as of late and I find that to be quite precarious relative to the state of our nation. Per the problems we've witnessed with NSA and Mr. Snowden's revelations it seems that privacy in America is becoming an endangered species. And many of our highest leaders (like Diane Feinstein) are perfectly satisfied with domestic NSA spying but when she found out that the CIA was said to have spied on her Ms. Feinstein became enraged. The shoe hurt when it was on the other foot. I agree with your outlook on these matters in general, Matt. And I thank you for the update, sir.
Homer April 02, 2014 at 11:01 PM
A "Texting Checkpoint" is really entrapment. After all, if I see one ahead then I am obligated to tweet the location to all my followers. ;*))
tanya April 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM
Thanks for this, Penny. It's a little bit in line with what I've been bitching about lately. But why does this have to be observed for only a month? Law enforcement should be looking to crack down EVERY DAY. Haven't you all noticed the sharp increase in horrific accidents, including lawful, non-jaywalking pedestrians being killed, even on sidewalks and in broad daylight? And there are so many more accidents that don't get reported in the press only because they did not result in a fatality. I am sick and tired of people griping about "too much regulation" or "their rights" when their so-called "rights" are abused and endanger others, or are at the very least inconsiderate of others. I see people talking on their phones and texting while driving ALL THE TIME and driving accordingly. Not cool

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