Last month found the California Highway Patrol and more than 250 other law enforcement organizations cracking down on distracted driving. Now, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we finally have an idea of how successful the operation was as a whole.
All in all, 57,000 motor vehicle operators were cited for using their cellphones in some manner at the wheel. When you take into account the other types of distracting behaviors that drew the ire of the CHP and various local officers, a total of 60,500 citations were issued. A typical month in California brings about 36,000 tickets for distraction.
Although that’s certainly a lot of distraction on our roadways, the good news is that the number of drivers who appear to be using their cellphones is actually on the decline. Last year, it was estimated that 10.8% of drivers used their cellphone at any given time along the road, but that number decreased dramatically to 7.4% this year. And the number of people who had their phones placed to their ear dropped by nearly a third.
To make sure that these trends continue and that the CHP doesn’t have to issue tens of thousands of tickets every month, officials ask that a cellphone be stowed someplace that it won’t pose a temptation. If a call must be made, a vehicle should be parked.