Deaths from car accidents have dropped in California. Our state enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving in back July, 2008. This according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and as a result, the news is good.
Records showed that two years before and two years after the hand-held ban went into effect, overall traffic deaths declined 22 percent while hand-held cell phone driver deaths went down 47 percent. Similar results were shown for hands-free cell phone use as well as injuries in both categories. Contributing to the decline in cell phone deaths and injuries is an overall drop in cell phone usage while driving.
“While we are thrilled to see that the hand-held ban in California has worked to reduce distracted driving crashes and overall cell phone use, there are still far too many drivers talking and texting while driving,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director for the California Office of Traffic Safety. “A good step for parents is to never call or text your kids if you think they might be driving.”
Drivers Becoming Aware of Dangers and Penalties…
Other indicators of the reduction in collitions might be found in new information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Statewide in 2011, there were 460,487 hand-held cell phone convictions – that’s up 22 percent from 361,260 convictions in 2010 and 52 percent from 301,833 in 2009. It is expensive now to get a tickett. A first offense is at least $159, and $279 for subsequent offenses.
The distracted driving section of the California Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) has developed the state’s “It’s Not Worth It!” public awareness campaign that employs TV, radio commercials, billboards, internet, social media and other outreach. In addition, millions of Californians see the “Handheld Cell Ticket – $159 – It’s Not Worth It” message on more than 625 permanent changeable message signs for several days throughout the year. The SHSP’s distracted driving section is currently formulating plans to increase the data and research available to more accurately understand and combat the problem.
Information proided by the California Office of Traffic Safety
Photo from drive safe