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Lake Elsinore Police Crack Down On Texting Drivers

“Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk."

The Lake Elsinore Police Department put out this warning Friday and said there will be “zero tolerance” for those who text or use hand-held devices while driving: “Drivers who break the law and place themselves and others in danger will be cited. The current minimum ticket cost is $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $279.”

The stern message came as part of

“Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk. As a result, law enforcement across the state, including The Lake Elsinore Police Department (is) increasingly cracking down on cell phone use and texting. This April will see over 225 local agencies plus the CHP conducting zero tolerance enforcements,” according to a Lake Elsinore Police Department news release.

"We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously," said Lake Elsinore Police Chief Dave Fontneau. "Cell phone 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 cell phone call really worth $159?"

“Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. 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,” Friday’s news release stated.

“Studies show that there is no difference in the risks between hands-free and hand-held cell phone conversations, both of which can result in ” according to the release.

"Turn off your phone and put it out of reach as you get into the car," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "Think before you call or text someone. If there is a chance they may be driving, let it wait. It's not worth it."

Katheryn April 07, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Keep up the good job Captain and we need more police officers in Lake Elsinore not Public Safety Advisory Commission people or programs which are a waste of taxpayer money.
J Carabine April 07, 2012 at 03:02 PM
AMEN - "Turn off your phone and put it out of reach as you get into the car," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "Think before you call or text someone. If there is a chance they may be driving, let it wait. It's not worth it." Sadly this is not just the younger generation doing this, I see old folks doing it too and driving 70 miles an hour while doing it. I think we have all been guilty of looking at out phone at a light to see what a text says, I know I have but that makes us unattentive to what is going on around, like that person about to run the red light. Stay safe. I now pull over to text, I hope you do too. I don't want to be the one telling a family they lost a member of theirs to my stupidity. HOW IMPORTANT CAN THAT CALL BE?
David Pereira April 07, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Who do we call when we see a deputy texting? When I was at the red light on Mission Trail last week at around 9am there was a female officer in her Riv Co Sherriff car at the same red light, just going the opposite direction...texting away. I was taking my daughter to her preschool and I was really tempted to walk into the police station to report the female officer but they had the front entrance taped off. I was disgusted. Maybe they should make sure their own back is clean before they ticket others.
Rosa Hasler April 07, 2012 at 07:50 PM
The first texting citation should be for at least $500. Perhaps by making this ticket hurt your wallet the first time, it will discourage texting while driving forever. I'm all for enforcing this law to the fullest extent. I see people talking and texting all the time and wish I could do something about it. Amen!!
Forest Chump April 07, 2012 at 08:16 PM
How will they do that when drivers moving next to them continue talking on a hand-held cell phone rignt in front of the officers? Lake elsinore, Riverside County and other police agencies do not enforce no use of hand-held cell phones now...
Diana April 08, 2012 at 12:29 AM
The cops are above the Law, they run stop signs, speed through residential areas, drive in the fog with no headlights on and so on..............testing and cell phones is just one more thing that is for the rest of us to abide by. BTW, everywhere I look in LE someone is on a cell phone while driving, really is anything that important? And while you're at it could you please turn the phone off at restaurants it's really very rude.
Diana April 08, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Hey just ate dinner at the new restaurant on Riverside Dr, The Alligator Pit, great food good prices and awesome service check it out and support this new place to eat we are so desperate to have good food. I had the Jumpily, (sp) my Honey a new york strip, delicious. Toni and Janice please add this to your restaurant list so people will know that it is there. Fast service too :)
David Vincent April 08, 2012 at 12:49 PM
What should you do if you see a police officer texting, talking on cell phone, or using hands free device. Which I see kust about eveyday. (Truck driver)? I'm just saying.
Roberto April 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM
It's all about accountibility. Police Officers are good, bad and indifferent just like everyone else. However, they need to be held to a higher standard because of their latent powers to kill, arrest, & fine. The bad ones lie, the honest ones deal with you fairly. Their performance needs to be investigated so the unethical Police Officers are weeded out. Their honour code of covering up for corrupt & incompetents needs to be stopped and will prevent lawsuits, unnessary escalation of cases & fatalities. If this cannot be accomplished from within, we need a citizens oversight committee as the population continues to grow. Tax dollars spent wisely for services rendered, not for incompetent, untrained, corrupt or lazy personel should be in everyone's interest including our Police.
k walsten April 08, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I also noticed a female officer with a phone to her ear at Malaga and Mission Trail so please put it away. I Think we ALL need the reminder. I have used my phone on Speaker and even that is not good. I think if we all follow the law we will make our city a safer place to live and work. I intend to follow the law. I hope everyone else does too.
Judy Lee Palecek VanderZwart April 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
True, at all who notice the Officers texting and talking on phones, As I have seen as well. kind of hard to enforce laws when they themselves feel they are above the LAW. The new kids getting their licenses see this as well. J.Lee
UNCLE FESTER April 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM
david---using the hands free device ? isnt that what its for ? byw-- for anyone out there who holds their phone like a walkie talkie or pizza tray, THIS IS NOT HANDS FREE YOU IDIOTS.. I HAD TO BUY A HANDS FREE-- so, instead of buying that 400 dollar, bitchen, extra cool, super duper, 4 g, gorilla glass, otter-boxed, movie screen phone, try a hands free.. then flap your silly lips all day long... as for the cops on the phones and texting, notice the little "e" on those plates... they are exempt from the law.... including running stop signs, parking in the red zones amungst numerous other things you and i get tickets for... but im with you on the other stuff.. all day on the road and these people are either too stupid or too lazy to even attempt to hide the phone.. in their left ear while driving and the others texting with both hands... i like to ride up their sides and waile on the horn ALOT... some have even told me to stop because they were on the phone !!!! the law only applies to those who abide by it. the others, are just waiting to get the memo....
UNCLE FESTER April 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
AGAIN------ NOTICE THE LITTLE "E" ON THE PLATES... EXEMPT FROM LAWS. THEY CAN AND WILL DO AS THEY PLEASE... AND STILL WRITE YOU A TICKET FOR DOING THE SAME THING THEY'RE DOING...
Jade April 08, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I hear you there! Im always seeing cops talking on the phone or txting while driving. So why are we being the only ones punished when they're supposed to be our role models.
UNCLE FESTER April 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
makes no sense to me either. ive been talking on radios and phones for years and never had an issue with it but, with all the people doing it now with no other concerns but the rumor mills and idle chatter while theyre driving , i guess it needs to be stopped. too many of the 'guilty' drivers should not even be driving in the first place.. they cant even walk and chew gum at the same time..
Tonto April 08, 2012 at 06:40 PM
It won't be long in the Peoples Republic of California until fined for driving, maybe even walking, and chewing gum at the same time. This ain't just a "nanny" State. Its fast becoming a slave State :(

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