To save lives and educate all Californians, especially young drivers, about the dangers of distracted driving, the California Office of Traffic Safety and more than 200 law enforcement agencies statewide, including the Monrovia Police Department, are working on increased education and enforcement efforts for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April and California Teen Safe Driving Week, the first week of April.
"Driving takes your full attention and any distraction can have deadly, dangerous consequences," said Sergeant Daniel Verna of the Monrovia Police Department. "Imagine driving four or five seconds while blindfolded. That can be the effect of looking down to send a text message. In the average time it takes to check a text message - less than 5 seconds - a car traveling 60 mph will travel more than the length of a football field." Throughout the month of April, traffic enforcement will focus on educating the public about the dangers of driving distracted.
The urge to read or answer an incoming message when we hear the text sound can be almost overwhelming. OTS is using a message of "Silence the Distraction" in new public service announcements aimed at getting drivers to turn off their phones while driving so they won't be tempted. "No text, call, or social media update is worth crashing," said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. "With an average of less than a second to react to an urgent situation, drivers need to have all their attention on the roadway."
While distracted driving can take on many forms and affects all road users, young drivers are at a greater risk. During "California Teen Safe Driving Week," April 1-7, Impact Teen Drivers will focus on educating teens that their number one killer - reckless and distracted driving - is 100% preventable. "People are realizing that everyday behaviors, such as texting or reaching for a dropped item, can be lethal when done behind the wheel," Kelly Browning, Ph.D., Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers, said.
"Each of us must drive responsibly, keeping full attention to the task at hand - DRIVING. If you have teenagers in your family who are driving, make sure they understand driving laws," Sergeant Verna added. "The collective goal with this month-long campaign is to change the behavior of all drivers. That change begins with education."
Source: Monrovia Police press release
- Brad Haugaard